Rumor: Blue Jays looking to trade catcher, could Detroit Tigers be a suitor?

TORONTO, ONTARIO - OCTOBER 08: Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits an RBI single against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning in game two of the American League Wild Card Series at Rogers Centre on October 08, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ONTARIO - OCTOBER 08: Danny Jansen #9 of the Toronto Blue Jays hits an RBI single against the Seattle Mariners during the seventh inning in game two of the American League Wild Card Series at Rogers Centre on October 08, 2022 in Toronto, Ontario. (Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images) /
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Could the Detroit Tigers trade for a Blue Jays catcher?

The GM Meetings started today in Last Vegas, and so has the offseason rumor mill. According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Toronto Blue Jays are expected to trade one of their catchers this offseason. We don’t know anything for sure yet, but the Detroit Tigers could be looking to upgrade at catcher. Could they be a fit for the Blue Jays?

Toronto has oustanding depth at the catcher position. Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and top prospect Gabriel Moreno all saw time behind the dish last year. If the Scott Harris sees catcher as a position he could upgrade, the Blue Jays certainly seem like a good fit.

Jansen seems like the most obtainable piece for the Tigers, as he would easily be the cheapest. Kirk has been the team’s starting catcher, and he can rake. Plus he’s young, so he would be very expensive. Moreno has that aforementioned top prospect pedigree, so he would pretty expensive as well. Jansen is probably the play here.

He’s coming off his best offensive season. In 2022, he slashed .260/.339/.516 with 15 home runs and a 140 wRC+ in 248 plate appearances. He also walked at a 10.1% clip and only struck out 17.7% of the time. His 2.6 fWAR was the highest of his career.

Jansen would certainly be an upgrade for the Tigers. We now know that Eric Haase is legit, but still don’t know if Jake Rogers is for real. He will be coming off Tommy John surgery next season as well, so that doesn’t help his case. Jansen would give the Detroit Tigers a proven backstop.

So what do the Tigers have that would intrigue the Blue Jays in a trade? Well, if you watched their Wild Card series matchup with the Mariners, you saw they blew an 8-1 lead in Game 2 of that series, which ultimately led to their downfall. They didn’t do a whole lot to address their poor bullpen in the offseason, and it cost them.

The Blue Jays were 13th in the league in bullpen ERA in the regular season, but only the Padres and Phillies had a higher bullpen ERA amongst playoff teams. It was clearly a problem for them.

On the flip side, the Detroit Tigers were eighth in the league in bullpen ERA—the lowest among non-playoff teams. They have several relievers that would be of interest to a team like Toronto.

Naturally, everyone will mention Gregory Soto, and it makes sense. When he’s on, he’s nearly unhittable. But that’s the problem. He’s been incredibly inconsistent.

The biggest problem for him in 2022 was that he just never had the feel for his slider. He essentially became a one and a half pitch pitcher with his fastball and his sinker. It just seems like his value isn’t very high right now. But then again, he also has three years of team control left. Soto is an interesting piece to follow, not just in this scenario, but all offseason.

Other relievers that Tigers could trade in a deal for Jansen include Joe Jimenez and Alex Lange. Andrew Chafin would have made perfect sense here, but he obviously opted out of his contract, making him a free agent. He seems like a good fit for Toronto regardless.

The hot stove is already a-burnin’. While I was writing this, another Tigers rumor popped up on Twitter. Now, I have to wrap this piece up and begin writing about that rumor. It’s going to be a busy offseason around here.

Next. Detroit Tigers offseason preview: GM Meetings. dark

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