Dec 15, 2009, 12:50 PM EDT
As if the massive three-team trade wasn’t intriguing enough already, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports that the Blue Jays are acquiring prospect Michael Taylor from the Phillies in order to flip him to the A’s for fellow prospect Brett Wallace. Seriously.
Oakland got Wallace from St. Louis in the midseason Matt Holliday trade and seemingly viewed the 2008 first-round pick a long-term building block, but his defense at third base has been questioned and so far at least his bat has been good rather than great in the minors. Based on raw numbers at least Taylor has actually out-hit Wallace and also projects as a strong defensive corner outfielder with good speed.
Both players are among baseball’s top hitting prospects and should be ready for the majors at some point in 2010, but apparently the Blue Jays like Wallace’s bat at third or first base more than Taylor’s bat/glove/speed combo in the outfield. I’m a bigger believer in Taylor long term, but the gap isn’t huge and Toronto has more of a need for a corner infielder with Adam Lind and Travis Snider around to patrol the outfield corners.
Betting on Wallace or Taylor is a very interesting and not-so-little “challenge trade” piggy-backing onto what is essentially the gigantic challenge trade of Philadelphia choosing Roy Halladay over Cliff Lee. And this three-team (or maybe four-team now) trade has officially reached “insane” status.
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