For the second time this off-season, and now for the first trade of 2012 the Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox have swapped players again.
This time the Blue Jays re-acquired right-handed reliever Jason Frasor in exchange for right-handed prospects Daniel Webb and Myles Jaye. Frasor was traded with Zach Stewart to the White Sox in July for starter Edwin Jackson and corner infielder Mark Teahan.
In Frasor the Blue Jays get a solid reliever that they are very familiar with, having had him in their bullpen since 2004. He is under contract for the 2012 season at $3.75 million.
The two young pitchers the White Sox have received both offer some limited upside. Webb was an 18th round pick of the Jays in 2009 and signed for an over-slot $450,000 bonus.
Working primarily as a starter thus far in his career Webb has struggled to build on the promise he showed as a prep prospect in Kentucky. His fastball still works in the 89-92 mph range and will touch higher than that in short bursts, but it lacks significant movement and is squared up far more often than it should be. He also struggles to command his fastball.
Webb’s slurvy breaking ball still doesn’t rate better than fringe-average most days and will only flash better than that sparingly. His change-up is well below-average and not really a viable pitch for him. Most scouts believe he will end up in the bullpen where he may benefit from being able to air it out more and possibly throw his breaking ball a little harder in shorter stints.
Another later round, over-slot signee, Jaye signed for $250,000 in the 17th round in 2010. Jaye has an ultra-projectable frame (6-3, 180) and his fastball already sits in the 89-92 range consistently. He has touched 95 mph in some short bullpen sessions according to some in the Blue Jays organization but I rarely heard of that in game situations this year.
He also throws a slider and change-up with the slider showing far more promise at this time. He will mix in some sliders with hard biting action that causes it to fall off the table at the plate. He lacks consistency with the break of the pitch and doesn’t command it well. His change-up was a new addition to his arsenal in 2011 and it needs a lot of work.
Jaye’s prospect status lies almost entirely with the dream of what he could become. There is an enormous gap between what he offers now and what some believe he could become. Depending on the scout you speak with he garners profiles anywhere from a number four starter to a seventh inning reliever.
If the White Sox scouts believe they can coax more performance out of both Webb and Jaye then they may have gotten a solid package here, but when looked at in totality, it is difficult to believe they did all that well. Having dealt Edwin Jackson this summer – whom the Jays turned around a flipped for Colby Rasmus – the White Sox seemingly could have gotten more value than Zach Stewart, Daniel Webb and Myles Jaye in exchange.