Thoughts: Blue Jays looking at Slowey
Buster Olney of ESPN reported on Sunday that the Twins are “very much willing” to discuss trading Slowey with other teams. According to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Twitter link) the Blue Jays like Kevin Slowey. Christensen tweeted that the Blue Jays have relievers to give up and had scouts watching Slowey pitch against the Pittsburg Pirates in yesterday’s ‘B’ game (the same game Morneau made his return). Slowey pitched three innings with no hits or runs. He struck out three batters
The Blue Jays have plenty of starting pitching right now; Jo-Jo Reyes, Jesse Litsch, Marc Rzepczynski and Kyle Drabek are battling for two rotation spots and Zach Stewart, Brad Mills and Scott Richmond are also fighting for jobs, most likely in the bullpen. Of course as Twins fans learned last year, having depth in your rotation is not a bad thing.
That is what puzzles me about the Twins looking at a deal for Slowey now. it just doesn’t make sense. In my mind, he should be the pitcher delegated to the bullpen to start the season. I do not see what good it would do to trade him now. I think they eventually should and will trade him because of Twins 2009 first round pick and top prospect Kyle Gibson. The only problem is, Gibson will not be up with the big club right away. Expect to see Gibson promoted sometime in mid July (has to do with financials) barring injuries to most of the starting staff.
The problem with trading Slowey now is you lose that depth in the starting rotation that may be needed in the first couple of months. If the Twins do need relief help, trading an experienced starting pitcher is not the way to get it. Bill Smith has shown over the past couple of years that he can go out and get relief help when needed near the trade deadline. I think the Twins should go into the season with what they have got and figure it out from there.
Of course, there is the risk that Slowey injures himself and loses his value. That is a risk worth taking. It is too early to be talking about trading a starting pitcher, doing it for a relief pitcher or two is just pure insanity. Someone in this rotation will be traded this year, someone has to be. Gibson is ready and needs to be up with the big club. Gibson is a lot like Slowey and possibly better, is much younger and much cheaper. I can’t wait to watch him pitch in the big leagues this year. When he gets called up, that’s when Slowey should be traded. Not now and not for relief pitchers.