Blue Jays Positional Off-Season Overview Part 3: Right Field

Aug 16, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista (19) reacts after he strikes out during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports


Keep the comments coming. In part two I didn’t forget about Kevin Pillar. I just don’t see him in the mix next season. And I didn’t say Lind was going to be the left fielder. I just said he would be in the mix if they had to hide Melky at DH. The only way it would really work is if Lind was traded in a package to get a starter or second baseman. But I can’t go through every scenario for fear of beating you all to death with words. I actually said Gose would most likely be the answer but I looooves me a controversy. Anyway, on with part 3.

The Contenders

Jose Bautista

Year Tm Lg G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2012 TOR AL 92 332 64 80 14 0 27 65 5 2 59 63 .241 .358 .527 .886
2013 TOR AL 118 452 82 117 24 0 28 73 7 2 69 84 .259 .358 .498 .856
10 Yrs 1095 3620 601 918 187 13 211 576 44 20 580 808 .254 .361 .487 .849
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2013.

This one seems to be a lockdown for sure bet. Bautista has been the leader of the new wave of Blue Jays and become a superstar in our uniform. He plays hard. He hits hard. He represents the city well. The one sticking point would be his penchant to getting sidelined with little pain in the butt injuries. I don’t know if it goes in with the team-wide injury problem the team is trying to address but it is worth noting. Between 2006 and 2013 he played over 150 games just once. That is cause for concern and addresses the need for us to have a capable fourth outfielder. Thing is, with the dearth of outfielders we have and could possibly pick up in trades or free agency, would it be worth it to trade Bautista to fix the rotation? This will be the biggest question of the off-season.

Moises Sierra

Year Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 TOR 35 107 11 31 13 1 1 13 1 0 14 29 .290 .369 .458 .827
2 Yrs 84 254 25 64 17 1 7 28 2 0 22 73 .252 .315 .409 .725
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2013.

Sierra could be that fourth outfielder but if he stepped up his defensive game he could be a major league regular. He is second to Gose in terms of outfield depth but his decent arm allows him to be considered for right field as opposed to Kevin Pillar. He improved his offense from last year when he had a taste of the majors but if Bautista is traded does he have what it takes to take over in right? Offensively he could be balanced out by the rest of the team but again it’s a matter of catching the ball too. Bautista plays Gold Glove defense and at this point I would use other trading chips to get a pitcher because the drop in production from a prime producing position would be too great.

Carlos Beltran

Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2013 36 STL 145 554 79 164 30 3 24 84 2 1 38 90 .296 .339 .491 .830
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/29/2013.

If the Jays do decide to trade Bautista we would need someone to fill the blanks and why not Beltran? If we are looking at St. Louis and their abundance of starting pitching then it’s conceivable they trade for Bautista as a younger replacement for Beltran. This would leave Beltran without a home and his power might fit in well in Rogers Centre. He has been fairly durable the last few years and because his numbers aren’t off the charts he could be decently priced. He may not have the full production that Bautista would provide but to be off-set with better pitching it would be worth the gamble.

Result

If Bautista is not in right field in 2014 I will truly be surprised. But Alex Anthopoulos has stated that there are truly no untouchable players and the contract the Bautista has is very team friendly. This contract alone will bring the suitors to the Blue Jays doorstep. If you can land a 1 or 2 starter for him and fill right field with a Beltran like player or another right fielder in a trade then you can never say never. I see the Jays holding on to Bautista but if they are out of it at the trade deadline in 2014….who knows?

Topics: Jose Bautista, Moises Sierra, Toronto Blue Jays

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  • revolu888

    I see number of problems with assuming the trade/signing beltran.

    First, while Bautista would command a good haul in either prospects and probably a number 2 starter. He unfortunately would not get as much as you expect simply because he’s coming off 2 injury seasons so his value is down. You are trading Bautista at his low point, I’m not sure you want to do that for maximum return.

    Second, if we do trade Bautista, the question is will you really be able to sign an adequate replacement at right field ie Beltran, considering how the outfield is on many teams list to upgrade. Don’t forget Beltran will almost certain to get a qualifying offer, so not only will he cost more than a departing Bautista, but we will also have to give up a second round pick.

    Third, Beltran is no shoehorn to reproduce good numbers, he is turning 37 and while he has career hall of fame like numbers, he is clearly declining, not to mention his defense was not good in 2013 by defensive metrics.

    • RyanMueller

      Also he has bad knees and has already snubbed AA’s attempt to sign him a couple years ago (If I remember correctly it was rumored that AA offered him more money also).

  • Andrew van Laar

    I personally do not see Bautista ever getting back to the form he was in 2010 and 2011. Call it a hunch or a gut feeling, but I just see his trade value going lower and lower. Pitchers have figured him out more than they did the last few years. He is a terrible RISP hitter (save for last year) hence him never being that massive RBI producer you would think he would be with the number of home runs he hits (has anyone ever noticed how many of his HRs are solo shots?). 60%, 66%, 62% and 46% of his HRs have come with no one on in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 respectively.

    I guess thats why I’ve never been a huge fan of Jose… you can hit all the HRs you want but you need to drive people in as well…

  • RyanMueller

    Jose will be back in 2014 for one reason…..AA and Rogers has made all these big money transactions to win and to fill the seats at the Rogers Centre. Trading Jose would send the wrong message to the fans and the club, that they don’t think that this club is capable to of winning. If AA is to trade Jose then he should also trade EE, Reyes, and Mark B. Basically strip the team down ala Florida Marlins.

    With that said, I would trade Jose in a heart beat for the that revolu888 and Andrew van Laar have already stated.