Sep 17, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus (28) hits a solo home run in the fourth inning against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays Positional Off-Season Overview Part 1: Centre Field



We all know about the fact the Blue Jays are desperate to get their starting rotation in order. This is a no-brainer as it was last off-season. It will be the predominant story as Alex Anthopoulos looks around for front end starters for the rotation to go with Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, a few surprises (Todd Redmond & Esmil Rogers) and a bunch of injury question marks (Drew Hutchison, Kyle Drabek to name a couple). But under the surface of this lies another issue. The offense was middle of the road and the defense was terrible at times. Do we have the right pieces in place going forward or do we need upgrades? If so, at what positions? I will be going over all eight positions (excluding the pitchers of course) in the coming weeks. First off, what is to become of the outfield? Let’s start with Centrefield.

The Contenders

Colby Rasmus

Year Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 26 118 417 57 115 26 1 22 66 37 135 .276 .338 .501 .840
5 Yrs 689 2391 364 594 121 17 98 312 233 643 .248 .317 .436 .753
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/22/2013.

Colby had somewhat of a breakout year and became one of the best centre fielders in the game today (which, honestly, isn’t saying a whole lot). He was comparable to Adam Jones this year but with the tendency to strikeout…alot. I can live with the strikeouts as long as he keeps his slugging and power up to a decent level. His defense has been first rate. Going into his age 27 season he may have a career year. Does this mean we shop him to fill other needs? Depends on what you think of our next candidate.

Anthony Gose

Year Age G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 22 52 147 15 38 6 5 2 12 4 3 5 37 .259 .283 .408 .691
2 Yrs 108 313 40 75 13 8 3 23 19 6 22 96 .240 .294 .361 .655
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/22/2013.

He teases us with his speed and potential. AA seemed to have a soft spot for this guy. He tried to get him in the Halladay deal and he finally got him from Houston after giving up Brett Wallace. Has he been worth the trouble? From what I have seen and heard he is just an average MLB hitter with speed to burn. His defense is top notch so he has that going for him. So far, however, he is Rajai Davis with better defense. I have seen nothing from him so far the portends to be a superstar of any kind. If you truly believe he is the real deal he is Rasmus but faster.

Result

If I am going to move one of the outfielders in a trade it would not be either of these two. Gose is still only potential and potential gives you nothing guaranteed (see Dickey). Potential can trap other teams but after the down year Gose had his value is minimal at best. So then should Rasmus be traded? No. He has slowly been getting better and compared to the rest of MLB he is top five in centre. Because of his age he would definitely garner some interest and could land a better player than Gose would. With the power we have on the team I am more inclined to look into right field for the best trade bait.

Going into 2014 expect to see Rasmus patrolling centre and Gose at least starting the year at AAA Buffalo. He is a decent backup for a team in need of decent backups playing at AAA. This year showed how there is a dearth of talent between A-Ball and the big club. A few more years of decent drafts will help narrow that gap as talent moves upwards (Sean Nolin, Aaron Sanchez, A.J. Jimenez and the like). For now playing the status quo is the safest bet. Is it the best bet? Depends on what happens with the other outfield spots…which will be covered in the days to come. What do you think? Leave some comments below.

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Tags: Alex Anthopoulos Anthony Gose Colby Rasmus Toronto Blue Jays

  • Doug Hall

    Colby is the better choice and I think this is his year. I would keep him and see what we can get for Bastista. His value will never be higher than now. However there is a need to be very careful that a deal for a couple of over the hill guys might look attractive but that would be short term.

  • Bob Loblaw

    I like Rasmus a lot. I think him and Lawrie are the future.

    In my mind, the jays can afford to trade Lind, outfield prospects, Janssen and other relievers without options. So the question is, is there a market to bring in a reliable starter from that group? If not, Rasmus might be the best “trade value to production” ratio, or if teams demand pitching prospects, then maybe Nolin but I’m not familiar with his upside.

    If they can bring in a reliable starter, hopefully not a fly ball guy, and also resign Johnson, then Happ is a good trade piece to bring in a catcher, 2nd base, or salary dump/prospects to flip at the deadline.

    Another challenge will be tagging Izturis onto a larger deal to someone who needs infield depth. It’s possible, but would require rare circumstances.

  • Art

    “A few more years of decent drafts…” With respect, you seriously can’t imply that AA and his team have been anything but poor drafters. Embarrassing.
    Regarding centre field, keep Rasmus return Gose to Buffalo to learn how to bunt.

    • RyanMueller

      With respect to your ‘poor’ rating to AA and team drafting I can’t agree with you. AA has drafted very well and the trades that were made the last two years is an indication to this. If AA had a poor drafting record then we don’t have the talent to swing the Marlins or Mets trade. As I am sure you are aware draft picks and international signing take anywhere between 3-5 years to develop to the point of being at minimum AAA players. If there is anywhere they can improve their drafting it would be in drafting position players, but they have signed international players to fill these positions very well.

  • jah3

    Are starting CF has no stolen bases…………. Why am I the only person in Toronto that see that as a problem the truth is Colby’s a Left fielder and Goose is a real Center Fielder speed and defencive arm say what you want about his bunting skills that can improve cause he has the speed the one thing the blue jays missed they had five 20 home run guys but no one on base. Him and Goins would make a big difference next year we don’t need to bring in new players we need to improve are catchers game calling skills

    • RyanMueller

      I see it. Rasmus can run, he has above average speed. Rasmus’ issue is he doesn’t appear to have base stealing ability, which has less to do with speed and more to do with aggressiveness and being able to read a pitchers move. Gose on the other hand has speed to burn and is very aggressive but still needs to improve on when to run. Rasmus and Lawrie both need to improve on their base running skills, as they both have 20-20 skill. Last comment, Rasmus would be better suited for RF rather then LF. Jose has a cannon for an arm but less range, so it would stand to reason that he gets shifted to LF.

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