First reported by Ken Rosenthal, the Toronto Blue Jays traded the recently-acquired Mike Napoli to the Texas Rangers in exchange for reliever Frank Francisco and cash considerations.

Napoli was acquired just a few days ago in the blockbuster that saw long-tenured Blue Jay Vernon Wells shipped to the Los Angeles Angels. Juan Rivera was also sent to the Jays in that swap.

Napoli was thought to be a perfect fit for Toronto, who needed help at catcher, first base and designated hitterthree positions that Napoli has experience at, which makes this trade surprising.

What makes the deal even more surprising is that Francisco is yet another right-handed reliever added to a right-heavy pitching staff. Both players have arbitration hearings set in March, after both of them had struggles in reaching a new deal with their former clubs, the Angels and Rangers.

Francisco all around seems to be a solid addition to what was once a weak bullpen. However, it also jeopardizes fellow reliever Jason Frasor’s future with the club. Frasor and Francisco are similar pitcherspower-throwing, strikeout pitchersso the question arises: Why have two of the same thing?

Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos earlier today responded by saying he likes to have a very deep bullpen, meaning the Jays could play into the early part of the season with a 13-man pitching staff.

However, there may be some logic to the deal (with Anthopoulos, there usually always is). Despite being a right-handed reliever,  Francisco still brings a bevy of options for the Jays:

left-handed batters have only hit .213 on Francisco during his career, compared to the .234 right-handed batters have

Francisco also has closing experience and will most definitely be one of the four or five names competing for the closer’s job come spring training

As Jonah Keri noted, Francisco’s xFIPs of the last three seasons are quite impressive and are actually better than some of the league’s better closers3.34, 3.53, 3.31.

Clearing some salary could have been a motive for Anthopoulos in this deal too. Napoli’s and Francisco’s arbitration figures could be up to $3 million apart. The Jays also receive almost a million in hard cash from the Rangers, so the writing’s on the wall there too.

Toronto also needed another power bat for the upcoming season, and Napoli and Rivera filled those needs. However, with one of them gone, we are virtually in the same position as we were when we had Wells (in terms of production and power).

This also suggests that Anthopoulos may not be finished before spring training opens (which is approaching fast), and we could see another deal to land the Jays another veteran bat.

In another aspect of the deal, it also allows the Jays to play their younger players to see what they can do. In this view of the trade, one would suggest that Rivera could be traded as well. Anyway, I may have overanalyzed this deal to this point, but that’s what Toronto sports fanatics do, don’t we?

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