Encarnacion, Tallet, and Wise Leave the Jays

It’s a busy day in the Jays world and in Alex Anthopolous’s office as he gears up his chase for reliever and now a third baseman or outfielder. As he has said in the past, it’s a luxury to have Jose Bautista as a backup plan at 3B and he may very well be forced to use him there now that Edwin Encarnacion has officially been claimed off waivers by the Oakland A’s. The Jays don’t get anything in return for Edwin, but it was unlikely that they could and he was a non-tender candidate due to the size of his pending contract. The hierarchy of 3B in Jays world now stands as follows:

Jose Bautista, John McDonald, Brad Emaus, Shawn Bowman (MLFA), John Tolisano, and Balbino Fuenmayor.

Only the first 3 stand a chance of seeing action at 3B, while Yunel Escobar and Aaron Hill could shift over if acquisitions or promotions at 2B/SS warranted such a move to be made. In any case, although it’s something Alex will look to address this off season, you can see from the list above that it’s nowhere as critical a worry to the Jays as the Bullpen currently is.

Speaking of the pen, Brian Tallet decided to become a FA and to test the market. All I can say is thank goodness for that. I don’t need to bring in anything more than his over 6 ERA to let everyone know his contract and performance levels did not match. I never understood why he was used as often as he was against both lefties and righties, and I was clearly hoping he would be replaced for the 2011 season. Brian’s a great guy and I hope for his sake that he lands well on his feet on a National League team such as the Mets or Nationals, 2 teams that could use a lefty specialist, long-relief man, spot starter in the Tallet mold.The bad part of this move is that the Jays won’t get any compensation for losing Tallet, but it was doubtful that they’d offer him arbitration anyhow.

Dewayne Wise was a true professional during his short stay with the Jays but the writing was on the wall that the Jays were going to seek a better option off the bench for the 2011 season. Fred Lewis, if he accepts the role, could be that candidate, while I would rather see Darin Mastroianni take the role on to inject some youth and speed into the Jays lineup. Eric Thames would be another internal candidate, while the FA market and trades could also fill the void. If Alex Gordon is acquired from the Royals as reportedly possible, he could also slot in as a super utility player since he can play LF, RF, 1B and 3B.

These 3 moves were somewhat expected as it was evident that the Jays would not retain any of these players. I wish them well in 2011 and beyond and can’t wait to see what comes next now that Alex’s options at 3B have become more limited.

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Tags: Brian Tallet Darin Mastroianni Edwin Encarnacion Eric Thames Fred Lewis John McDonald

  • Mylegacy

    EE was just not the guy. Way too low OBP with just enough power to cloud the issue – good move by AA.

    Tallet – boy – a rough year – so rough I can’t help thinking something physical was going on. However, replaceable.

    Wise – I agree he put in a good season – for what we asked him to do. Hope he gets another gig in the show in ’11. Clearly time here for Darin to get a serious look-see as the 4th guy.

    Flexibility – With Bautista able to play: RF, LF, 3rd, 1st or DH. With Hill able to play 2nd or 3rd. With Snider able to play… I think yo get the idea … with this flexibility I’m SURE that AA is going to go and make a trade (or two) for a YOUNG STUD Rfer, CFer, 3rd, and or 1st or DH. I think he’ll be looking for a Rasmus, or Wright or someone of THAT caliber – a young(ish) star(s) that can be a major building block going forward and around whom our “flexible” guys can move to make room for him.

  • Mat Germain

    It’s funny, you’re not the first or last to mention Colby Rasmus, and he’s an intriguing guy for the Jays to target due to his youth and talent. The Jays have some pitching to deal, so we know that the Cards could be on board with a deal for a starter, the question is which one? Would they target a location guy like Marcum, or try to get an equally young talent in someone like Cecil? In either case, dealing pitching for hitting is always hard to do when you know you can never have too much pitching.

    But, as is usually the case, you have to deal something to get something, and Colby Rasmus at the top of the Jays lineup would be quite a site. At only 23 years old in 2010, he had an above average OBP of .361 and 23 HRs. If he progresses well from this point forward, the Jays would be landing their version of Grady Sizemore. That leads me to believe that the Cards, having already traded Ryan Ludwick and looking to add – not subtract – offense, would be very reluctant to trade him unless they also got a bat in return.

    That would be the key for me if the Jays do make a deal for Rasmus. Look for the Cards to take on an arm and a bat or two in return for Colby, as he promises to be a very special player.