So the Roy Halladay trade from last winter continues to evolve, developing ironically as part of the Philadelphia Phillies’ acquisition of a frontline hurler named Roy.
In a surprising off-shoot of the Phillies’ addition of Roy Oswalt from the Houston Astros, the ‘Stros flipped OF Anthony Gose, whom they had acquired in a package for their former ace, to Toronto for Brett Wallace. Wallace, of course, had been picked up by the Jays in the off-season from Oakland in exchange for Michael Taylor, who had been part of the Halladay package.
Got all that?
The deal is surprising in that Wallace was in the midst of a terrific season (.301 average with 18 home runs) at Triple-A Las Vegas and had been widely tabbed as the team’s first baseman of the future, perhaps even ready to get the call up late this season. But GM Alex Anthopoulos took the risk of shipping Wallace out in favour of a speedy, defensive-oriented centre field prospect in the 19-year old Gose, whom the GM said mans a position short on available young blue chippers.
What remains perplexing, however, is the re-emphasis on adding a raw, outfield prospect after Toronto prioritized a major league-ready corner infield prospect in Wallace over another raw, outfield project in Taylor. Trading Wallace means that Adam Lind is the only viable first base option moving forward for the club, unless Anthopoulos remains busy before Saturday or perhaps this coming off-season.
As for Gose, speed and defence are his calling cards, but he also boasts a rapidly-developing bat. He won’t arrive nearly as quickly as Wallace (one site has his debut tabbed roughly for 2013), but he has high upside that could see him thrive as a strong on-base guy who can steal bases and cover plenty of ground in centre field.
The winner of this trade won’t be determined for a while, but it’s hard to see a player with Wallace’s offensive talent not panning out at the big league level. Still, Gose’s ceiling is high and as one scout recently asked the Toronto Sun’s Bob Elliott, ‘has Anthopoulos lost a trade yet?’
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Written by Ben Fisher