In a recent article by Jordan Bastien, he explains exactly how Alex Anthopoulos has been able to make amends with Jeremy Accardo over his role with the Blue Jays in 2010. It’s a very telling piece in terms of the personal approach Alex is taking with each player. He’s wiling to go the extra mile in order to make sure players know their roles within the organization, the way it should be done. Accardo had dealt with this issue in the press, because unlike Alex JP was not as approachable and Jeremy’s camp were not getting the attention they thought he deserved. Rightfully so after an awesome performance over 3 years that saw him spend time in the minors.
I’m not sure if JP had anything to do with his demotion, or whether Cito made the call, but whatever the case Jeremy Accardo is one of the top 4 relievers the Jays have and does not deserve to be in the minors. Since the Jays have 2 expiring contracts after 2010 in Jason Frasor and Scott Downs, their 2 top candidates for closing duties, they can’t afford to burn a bridge to Accardo’s camp. He could inherit the closing role if the others leave town, but even if he doesn’t, his value on the trade market when the trade deadline comes around is enough for the Jays to want his to play in MLB until then.
One key part of Bastien’s article had Alex mentioning the C word: competition. It seems like it will be his strategy to ensure that the competition for relieving duties with the Jays will be strong and plentiful. He talks of guys with options being valuable because if they should falter, or if better options make themselves present, they can be demoted without having to clear waivers first. It sounds like a good strategy if you’re one of the mainstay relievers, but it could ruffle “Accardo like feathers” when guys are bouncing back and forth between the majors and AAA. Hopefully Alex can do as good a job reassuring all of the relievers who fear they’re not getting the attention they deserve in 2010, because it seems that they are a ton of options for the Jays in the pen and chances are there will be lots of bouncing back and forth from AAA to Toronto for some of them.