A new possibility has emerged in the Blue Jays’ ongoing hunt for infield help. Earlier today the Tampa Bay Times reported that the Rays had designated Sean Rodriguez for assignment. Rodriguez is one of those types of players that Alex Anthopolous loves to take chances on., and it’s a chance I think AA might actually take.
Here’s the thing, Rodriguez would be a pretty serviceable piece to many major league teams. If the Jays truly believe that Devon Travis has the potential to be their secondbaseman of the future, then they don’t require a long-term solution at the position in 2015. That means the Jays would be better served using a stopgap solution for a year or two until Travis matures enough to make a contribution at the big-league level, at which point the stopgap could slide easily into a reserve roll.
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Rodriguez could be a good fit in that roll. First of all he’s inexpensive. His salary in 2015 was just $1.475 million, and he doesn’t become a free agent until 2016. Sure he’ll get a bit of a raise in arbitration, but certainly nothing earth-shattering. From a financial perspective it makes sense.
Well all know, however, that it’s not just dollars that need to be considered, but performance as well. Statistically Rodriguez isn’t a superstar by any means, in fact his offensive statistics are downright pedestrian. His career OPS+ is only 86 and he’s never reached 100 (which is average) in that time. He “boasts” a career slash line of .225/.297/.372, so he’s not exactly setting the world on fire with his bat. There is a silver lining to that cloud though, in just 259 PA last year he hit 12 home runs, and playing a full year at Rogers Centre might give his offence a bit of a boost.
The real value in Rodriguez is on the defensive side. Anthopolous has talked a lot about versatility over the past few months and Rodriguez has that in spades. This is a guy that has played games at 2B, SS, OF 3B, and 1B. He’s not exactly Ozzie Smith out there but at least in the infield he’s been solid if not spectacular and at 2B he sports 23 DRS in 261 games. Another added bonus is that he’s familiar with playing on turf, which is an issue that has troubled new Blue Jays in the past (I’m looking at you Emilio Bonifacio).
Personally I think he’d be a pretty low risk pick-up who at best could be a decent temporary solution at second and at worst could be a nice depth piece. What do you think? Let the comments fly!