Mike Fiers Drawing Trade Interest

Ken Rosenthal reported Monday afternoon that the Toronto Blue Jays are showing interest in Mike Fiers.

Mike Fiers has been the Brewers best pitcher this season, with 0.8 WARP in 107 innings pitched. I can definitely imagine why Rosenthal would include that Melvin isn’t very motivated to move their best starting pitcher (with due respect to Jimmy Nelson). Especially when you consider that Fiers isn’t free-agent eligible until 2020. He isn’t even arbitration eligible yet. Players like this don’t frequently get moved.

But, just for fun, let’s play armchair general manager. What could the Blue Jays provide the Brewers with? When Keith Law’s top 50 prospects list got posted last week, two Blue Jays were on the list: LHP Daniel Norris and OF Anthony Alford.

The former began the 2015 season with the big club, making five starts of 5.67 DRA baseball. Since getting sent down to Triple-A Buffalo, Norris has improved his FRA to 3.51 over 80.1 innings. Despite being passed over a couple times when a call-up was needed, it is only a matter of time before Norris’ impact is felt in the majors. His command can get a bit wild, but left-handed pitching prospects with as good a changeup as Norris tend to arrive quickly.

Anthony Alford surprised many by showing up as Keith Law’s 39th prospect. He is only 20 years old and still in High-A Dunedin, but the scouting report shows promise. In his 22 games this season, Alford is getting on base twice out of every five at-bats and showing great discipline at the dish. If his progression can continue, scouts project Alford to be a very good defender at the top of the lineup.

This isn’t to say these are the prospects you should expect for Mike Fiers however. Advisers of Doug Melvin should probably push him in the direction of youth. Personally, I would lean toward asking the Blue Jays for both Anthony Alford and 22-year old RHP Jeff Hoffman. This way, Melvin receives prospects that he wouldn’t have to rush, could progress through the system at a normal rate, and wouldn’t have to take someone the Blue Jays felt would be ‘close to the majors.’

That being said, advisers of Alex Anthopoulos—the Blue Jays general manager—would never, ever approve such a deal. Don’t forget, they’re contacting the Brewers about Mike Fiers for two reasons. First, to gauge prices. Second, because Cole Hamels and Johnny Cueto are probably too much. That doesn’t give reason for Melvin to sell Fiers on the cheap though, as previously mentioned he’s controllable through 2019. However, Anthopoulos is probably expecting to give one prospect that is a long way away from the majors—think Alford, but not necessarily—as well as some other parts.

A trade between these two teams does make sense at the moment, but the odds of one involving Mike Fiers lining up are slim. Kudos to Alex Anthopoulos for doing his due diligence and, if Fiers is actually on the trading block, the 28 other general managers should be following suit.

Lead photo courtesy of Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

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