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.
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!