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!
The world is much abuzz with the onset of the true Free Agent season, and there are many rumours concerning the Jays that we should address. Let’s break it down situation by situation, player by player.
Jordan Bastian says it best. The Jays probably cannot afford Manny. I’m not too sad to see him go, but I wouldn’t have been sad to see him here, either. What other options are there?
In his seven years in New York Giambi enjoyed five productive years, including three of the last four, and two not so productive years. On top of that he weathered the storms of steroid abuse, and brought back the mustache to New York, reminding Yankee fans of greats like Reggie Jackson. At age 37, however, Giambi has the best years of his career behind him. Jays, expect Frank Thomas like production from JG if you tender him a contract.
Forget about it. You can keep the funnest player in the game’s league leading OPS, Canada doesn’t want the headache. Even with Cito, a much more calm and level headed manager than John Gibbons was, notable jerks don’t fair well in Toronto. Not only is Bradley a pain in the neck, he also has avoided providing his teams with the breakout season that scouts once envisioned. It’s fun getting into trouble, but I’ll have to say sorry to Milton.
I’m not always negative! I think Ibanez would be a great fit in Toronto. Ibanez is aging quite well, is a premier offensive player in a number of offensive categories, would give us room to trade the likes of Adam Lind (his value will never be as high as it is now), and would probably welcome the chance to spend time at DH. We tried once to get him and failed. What about another go?
Not quite the unheralded marvel for fantasy owners that he once was, Abreu is a great player and would be a great addition under certain circumstances. Let’s be honest, with how low his HR totals have been over the last few years, his high rbi totals are mostly due to the lineup in which he plays. On the other hand an outfield of Wells, Rios and Abreu would be tremendous, considering one is willing to play LF. What does that mean for Lind and Snyder? One, if not both of them would have to go. Abreu is too athletic to DH, Snyder is probably too young, and Lind doesn’t hit well enough. Abreu may cause more problems than he solves.
I’ve already made the case for Raf a week or so ago. Great pickup if we can get him. Picking up Raf, Ibanez and a good pitcher would make Toronto a real contender I believe.
WARNING!!! FLUKE YEAR IN 2007!!! Since 2004 he’s only had one season where he’s played more than 121 games. 2007 was a fluke because of injury woes, not because of talent (of which Khalil has plenty). If you pick this cat up, JP, get ready to give up your job the second he’s injured. Let Burnett and Glaus teach you that.
Some of the best reading I’ve done today was over at the hotstove blog where I noticed AJ’s agent had expressed interest in Atlanta and that Atlanta had given up hope, at least somewhat, in acquiring Peavy. Go AJ. Go far. Go so far that we don’t even have to tolerate you in anything more than the odd interleague matchup.
It is tempting to think of the chance of having another Canadian on the team. I miss Stairs. Dempster is positionally versataile, his injury plagued seasons are three years behind him and he’s coming off a successful transition back into a starter. Finishing sixth in the crowded NL Cy Young race Dempster had an era below 3 and just over 1.2 WHIP. Solid.
Just kidding – I’ll explain myself. I wasn’t always allergic to injuries. But the Jays 2006-2008 seasons have me so scared I won’t even go for a checkup at the doctor. Great talent here but his injury track record is awful. Let someone else waste their money.
Hmmm, didn’t know he was an option. His under-the-radar status, due to his recent injury troubles, may make him affordable. Unlike Sheets he has pitched a couple of full seasons recently and looked very good for the offensively anemic Dodgers in 2007. Worth a shot!
There you have it, what do you think?