Griffin: Slowey rumour only works to set up next deal
The Jays had three pro scouts watching Twins' starter Kevin Slowey pitch a B-Game the other day against the Pirates. This was reported by Joe Christenson of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Does that presence indicate interest from the Jays in acquiring the crafty 26-year-old righthander? Not necessarily. Jim Beattie is one of the Jays' pro-scouts and is assigned the five major-league teams that train on the west coast of Florida. It's his job to see as much baseball as possible. A B-game followed by the regular A-game is a bonus.
"You know I can't comment on another team's players," Jays' GM Alex Anthopoulos said when contacted Wednesday evening. The Jays play the Twins in Fort Myers on Thursday.
Do the Jays need Slowey in order to compete in 2011? The Jays have three young starting pitchers established in the rotation and four more men competing for the last two spots, including highly touted righthander Kyle Drabek. The other candidate starters are Jesse Litsch, Marc Rzepczynski and Jo Jo Reyes. The only reason that would make sense for Anthopoulos in terms of trading for Slowey would be if it was to set up another deal that involved one of the Jays' current rotation pitchers. That third-team concept fits his modus operandi. Slowey is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season.
The Star-Tribune suggestion is that the Twins may be targeting the depth of Jays relievers. There are problems in that perception. Frank Francisco is the Jays closer in waiting. Jason Frasor was a free agent in the off season and the Twins were not willing to sign him and be forced to give up a draft pick. Now they would be asked to give up not a pick but an established starting pitcher. Jon Rauch was a Twins free agent this off-season, signing with the Jays for an amount the Twins were not willing to pay back then. Would they trade for him now and in addition give up a pitcher? Octavio Dotel is making almost as much salary as Rauch and has not been able to get very many hitters out this spring, giving up nine hits in three innings. Shawn Camp is a free agent after this year and that makes no sense for the Twins. Only Carlos Villanueva or Casey Janssen would make any sense and Slowey would seem to be worth more than either of those middle relievers.