By Scott Barzilla

The staff here at hardballchat gave Kenny Williams the business and rightfully so with the Carlos Quentin trade. Not to be outdone, Williams did it again when he traded Jason Frasor to the Blue Jays for a pair of mediocre pitching prospects. MLBtraderumors broke the story again. Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb go to the White Sox in exchange for Frasor. Frasor rated as an above average reliever according to the total run index (formerly TPR). According to John Sickels and Kevin Goldstein, neither of the two were among the Blue Jays top 25 prospects.

There is really no need to break this trade down as we have done the others. Kenny Williams is clearly selling off the parts to pare down the payroll. Instead of auctioning them off to the highest bidder he is taking the trek to the pawn ship. He’s pawned off three pieces so far and could be selling off a couple more.

Rebuilding projects have been a part of baseball for as long as anyone can remember. Connie Mack had a few high profile unloads and the Marlins had a couple high profile sell outs as well. It took Mack about 10 years to get the next dynasty built. It took the Marlins five. It can happen in a hurry and it can take forever. The Royals and the Pirates are a testament to that. Rebuilding a team and trading off pieces is more about delicate surgery than sending the caudavor to the butcher. We are seeing the Cubs, Athletics, and Astros in the midst of a rebuilding project. All of them have gotten more for their veterans than Kenny Williams.

In a way, Ozzie Guillen’s antics not only shielded the players from criticism, but he may have been a decent cover for Williams as well. His moves over the past few seasons have been disjointed and counterproductive. Jake Peavy was supposed to put them over the top and didn’t. Edwin Jackson, Alex Rios, and Adam Dunn were supposed to do the same. All disappointed or were ineffectual. Now, the payroll is bloated and needs to be cut. Instead of reloading with prospects, he hasn’t added any prospect of note.

This offseason has seen several general managers lose their positions. You have to believe Kenny Williams is on a short leash after seeing so many similar general managers get their walking papers. If it were me in the ownership box he would have been released a long time ago. There just doesn’t seem a plan in place there much less any solid decision making.

As for the Blue Jays, they have managed to add three quality relievers this offseason and one young arm with potential. If Aaron Laffey gives the Blue Jays anything this year, you can give Alex Anthopolous credit for rebuilding a bullpen on the fly. Of course, he has Kenny Williams to thank for being a sap. If he can add any starting pitching to that bullpen, the Blue Jays will be a force to reckon with in the AL East.

Scott Barzilla

Scott Barzilla is the editor in chief at He is also the author of four books, including The Hall of Fame Index. The Hall of Fame Index was nominated for the Sporting News Award for statistical innovation in 2011.

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Filed under: AL, MLB, SABR

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