Blue Jays Claim Eli Whiteside From Yankees


Feb 25, 2012; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants catcher Eli Whiteside (22) smiles during a workout during spring training at Scotsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY SportsThings took an odd turn last week when general manager Alex Anthopoulos chose to non-tender Bobby Wilson, clearing a spot on the 40-man roster in preparation for the winter meetings. At first, it looked like the move would take the Blue Jays and their excess of catchers out of the trade market. However, it did not take long for Toronto to get back in position to make such a trade.

We all should have realized that Anthopoulos has a plan all along.

The Blue Jays were granted a waiver claim on catcher Eli Whiteside, who had been designated for assignment last week by the Yankees. Whiteside immediately takes the spot formerly held by Wilson, that of the potential fall-back option as a back-up catcher with absolutely no ability to hit. The 32-year-old Whiteside is a career .215 hitter with a .608 career OPS over 208 games, compared to Wilson who has a .208 career average with a .593 OPS over 191 games.

The acquisition of Whiteside again opens up the door for the Blue Jays to move either John Buck or J.P. Arencibia. The 26-year-old Arencibia is perhaps the most attractive trade chip on the catching market, with his power potential and the fact that he is still a year removed from arbitration eligibility.

The only other major competition on the market comes from Boston, who will try to move Jarrod Saltalamacchia now that they have signed Mike Napoli to a three-year deal.

Expect to hear more about this situation as the Winter Meetings roll on and Anthopoulos makes his move.