On the Cheap

Before reading my take, go over to ESPN.com to read Jerry Crasnick’s original piece
That will save me from having to quote directly!

Greetings faithful readers, Jays fans and baseball readers.  It seems woefully apparent that our man JP Riccardi is far too cash conscious to dip into any big free agent pools (even with the likes of Manny Ramirez expressing interest in the Great White North).  How do we solve this problem? Trade? Good luck getting much from our underperforming offense, and we need our arms if we’re going to compete post Burnett.

Solutions? Cheap free agents! Today I’ll reflect on three positions that the Jays need: pitcher, shortstop and power bat (any position) as they are represented in Crasnick’s article. 

Regrettably Randy Johnson is not an option for the Jays.  Despite his age and injury issues he managed to pitch in 30 games last season for 184 innings.  A similar output in 2009 would make him an appealing option for the Jays who will need someone to eat up innings.  What’s more is that Johnson would bring fans to the ballpark.  Regrettably Johnson’s salary will likely be too high, even for JP who loves to focus on pitchers (In JP’s defense the rumoured trade of Lincecum for Rios of last offseason now looks like it would have been a gem!).  On the other hand it is unlikely that Johnson would leave the West Coast.

With the defensively sound John MacDonald already playing the role of loveable middle infielder with almost no bat, there is little interest for a talent like the rapidly aging Omar Vizquel.  ‘Nuff said.

1B/Power Bat:
Why oh why am I warming to the idea of going after Giambi?  Despite what the fickle Riccardi has said, I would like to think that there’s still some chance that we’ll go after Giambi this year.  Dave, that would produce a logjam at 1B/DH with Lind, Overbay and Giambi splitting time!  No, it wouldn’t.  Picking up Giambi would give us a solid option at DH from a guy who had an excellent OPS in 2008 and may benefit from the less intense Toronto market.  That would allow us to trade Adam Lind for pitching – Lind’s value, as I have stated, will never be this high again.  Slot Snyder in left and let Overbay try to prove himself – trading Overbay right now would be futile as his value is so low. 

What the fans need to do:
Let JP know you’ll support his team if he puts one together.  Increase his ticket sales if he brings in a good player.  I, personally, am promising to support the team by purchasing the jersey of any big/valuable free agent that JP brings in that makes sense.  I urge others to do the same!


One comment

  1. welikeroywelikeroy

    From all indications, it looks the player name on the back of your jersey will be ‘nobody,’ with the number Zero on the back. Going to Bastian’s blog J.P. said “We’re still going to keep listening and seeing what’s available to us,” Ricciardi said. “But right now, I don’t see us getting involved with anybody. Something is going to have to really make sense for us and the best way would be via trade.”

    So much for free agents? It looks like the payroll is capped, even though we had intentions of tacking on 12 million for Burnett if for some reason he didn’t opt-out (which he did). A Overbay, Ryan, Rolen payroll decrease via trade, would be the only way of aquiring anyone new, from what he is saying.

    Pretty boring ‘Hot Stove’ for the Blue Jays, huh. We’ve had some exciting offseasons the past two years, so I guess this is making up for that.

    Apparently Ricciardi wanted Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum for Rios! They almost budged on Lincecum for Rios straight up, smart that SF didn’t do it. I’ve heard different things on that trade. I don’t know what to believe?
    Great post and great link.

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