The return for Gavin Floyd

The return for Gavin Floyd
January 6, 2012, 1:56 am
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Today's bogus rumor: The Blue Jays and White Sox had agreed to a swap that would send Gavin Floyd to Toronto for pitchers Deck McGuire and Kyle Drabek.

There are about 100 reasons why this rumor is bogus -- it came from someone who claimed his cousin married Floyd or something and seriously, Toronto is not trading those two guys for Floyd.

That being said, Eno Sarris of FanGraphs viewed the rumor as a good thinking exercise regarding Floyd's trade value. That's a good way to take a false rumor -- as an aside, please, if you don't have sources don't act like you do, it's just annoying -- especially because the idea of a Drabek-for-Floyd swap isn't entirely outlandish.

Drabek was the centerpiece going to Toronto in the Roy Halladay trade of a few years ago, but he completely wiped out in 2011. He had some horrific control issues with the Blue Jays, walking more than he struck out in 78 23 innings. After being sent back to Triple-A, Drabek actually pitched worse, although he did manage to barely strikeout more than he walked.

He's 24 and isn't all that far-removed from success. His struggles weren't an issue of velocity, which is good -- everything appears to be mental, mechanical or some combination of the two.

But would he be an acceptable return for Floyd?

My first reaction was no, the Sox shouldn't take another flier on someone who struggled in 2011 as they did with Simon Castro. But Floyd hasn't thrown 200 innings in the last three seasons and has posted an ERA above 4 in each of them. His FIPs have been around .50 points lower than his ERA, which normally would be an encouraging sign -- but three years is a pretty decent trend, and FIP or not, Floyd's pretty much a 190-inning, 4.00 ERA guy.

That's not bad, but there's not a ton of room for improvement there, either. Floyd will be 29 later this month, which is solidly in his prime. Essentially, what you see is what you get from Floyd.

He's still a bargain, making 7 million in 2012 with a 9.5 million club option for 2013 that's likely to be picked up. Given the going rate for pitching, that's a fair-at-worst deal.

But Floyd isn't someone a team will deal premium talent like McGuire for. So that means the Sox could either acquire once-premium talent (like Drabek) or good talent (like a few B-grade prospects).

Given the need for pitching in the farm system, the safe option would be to go with, say, a B and B-minusC-plus pitcher in exchange for Floyd. Drabek is intriguing, and maybe he'd be another Don Coooper success story. But he's not an ideal return for Floyd.

Of course, this is all hypothetical. We have no idea if the Sox have even discussed Floyd with Toronto, or if Drabek's name has even come up. But it's still interesting to discuss in relation to Floyd's trade value.