Although its been a relatively quiet start to the 2013/14 off-season for the Toronto Blue Jays, there has been no shortage trade speculation surrounding this ball club as GM, Alex Anthopoulos begins to fill some of the holes that were made evident during a disastrous 2013 campaign.
Monday’s latest bit of speculation comes from National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun & Canadian Baseball Network.
Coming to us from St Louis, site of Game 3 of the 2013 World Series between the Cardinals and the Red Sox, Elliot writes that the Blue Jays are interested in inquiring yet another Catcher from the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim).
“Toronto has targeted either Chris Iannetta or Hank Conger, according to those familiar with the Jays’ plans.” writes Elliot in his latest column for the Toronto Sun. The article, in it’s entirety, can be found here.
Having been used as the Angles primary Catcher, Ianetta (30) batted .235/.358/.372 with 11 Home Runs in 115 games in 2013 while also throwing out 19% of would be base stealers in 104 attempts.
Conger (25) hit .249/.310/.403 with 7 Home Runs in 255 Plate Appearances (92 games) during the 2013 season, his 4th year in the show. At the MLB level, the switch hitting Catcher has morphed into a defensive commodity behind the plate while posting career highs in Games Played and OPS in 2013.
If the Blue Jays were to land a Catcher from LAA, he will become the 4th (former Angel’s backstop) acquired by Toronto since Alex Anthopoulos took over as GM back in 2009.
It’s interesting to note that not only have the Blue Jays gone after a fair amount of Angels catchers during the past 3 off seasons, they also locked up Jeff Mathis to the tune of 2 years at $3 million with a club option for a 3rd year at $1.5 after acquiring him during the Angels in exchange for Brad Mills in 2011.
Does Anthopolous place extra value on Catchers who have spent a great deal of time under the tutelage of Angels Manager, Mike Scoscia, a former MLB Catcher and 2 time All Star himself?
Under Scoscia, Los Angeles’ Catchers have become defensively sound behind the dish while also being said to have great game calling abilities… Strengths that Anthopoulos would undoubtedly like bring aboard in Toronto as Defense and pitch selection have been a focal point’s for team critics during recent years.