Since there is nothing out there going on in Jays land, other than Alex burning up the phone lines trying to get more pieces together which we can’t speculate on accurately, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the changes made so far in 2010 by Alex and his team.
- Jan 7th 2010 – They claimed SS Brian Bocock off waivers from the Giants, but subsequently lost him in waivers to the Phillies the 26th of Jan, so this is inconsequential;
- Jan 7th 2010 – Signed OF Jorge Padilla to a minor league contract, he will compete for a bench spot or AAA spot;
- Jan 9th 2010 – Acquired LHP Zach Jackson from the Indians for a PTBNL. He’ll compete for a AAA spot and could eventually make an impact in 2010.
- Jan 13th 2010 – Signed LHP Willie Collazo and SS Jesus Merchan to minor league contracts and invited both to ST.
- Jan 19th 2010 – Signed OF Jeremy Reed and RHP Steven Register to minor league deals.
- Jan 20th 2010 – Acquired RP Merkin Valdez from the Giants in return for cash considerations.
- Jan 22nd 2010 – Signed SP Shawn Hill to a minor league contract.
- Feb 5th 2010 – Signed RP Kevin Gregg to a 1 year 2.75 million contract with 2 options.
- Feb 6th 2010 – Acquired SP Dana Eveland from OAK in return for Cash Considerations or a PTBNL.
So to review, Alex added 1 short stop, 2 outfielders, 4 relievers, and 2 starters to the Jays depth chart, and all it cost him was 1 PTBNL and the possible addition of another and cash considerations – as well as the money paid to sign each player. The money paid to players is minimal in all cases except in Kevin Gregg‘s case. Speaking of Gregg, that’s another things he did – he took one of the better relievers remaining on the market off, forcing other teams to consider asking about Jason Frasor and Scott Downs in trade talks.
All-in-all that’s a very good first month of 2010 which could end up helping the Jays out in 2010 and beyond. I’m not a huge fan of any player listed above, perhaps more of a Valdez fan than any of the others because of his potential, but I do appreciate the need for depth in baseball. Injuries can leave a lasting impression on a team, as JP Ricciardi will be more than willing to tell you all about I’m sure. Had he looked after the depth the Jays had during his first years as Jasy GM, maybe their luck would have been just that much better and they could have made the playoffs one year during his tenure. Instead, JP consistently short-changed the bench, in my opinion, and missed many opportunities to improve the bench to an adequate level.
That’s why I can appreciate what Alex is doing here more than I would otherwise have done if I just glanced at that list of players. He’s sitting in his office mining for something, and if out of those guys he finds 2-3 nuggets that helps the Jays out in 2010 and beyond, it was a very productive month. If not, well, at least he tried and did the best he could as the Jays GM. Hopefully he gets the chance to complete the RP transactions I’m guessing he’s looking to make, but chances are he’s letting the market settle itself out first. Will Ohman just signed with the Orioles, so the Cubs and others looking for RP could be calling Alex very soon! I know there will likely be fewer transactions made in the couple of upcoming months, but I certainly hope February and March are just as productive as January and the beginning of February were nonetheless!