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