Big League Chew: Blue Jays Off Season
2) BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
SD: Many will lament the lost free agents. While, at the time, I would have agreed that most of them would look good in a Blue Jays uniform, my rational thought processes kicked in and thought about the bigger picture. I’m OK with AA passing on many of these deals. Think where we’d be if we HAD signed Victor Martinez! However, trading away Franklin Baretto was a mistake. Jose Reyes is getting older. There are kids in the minors who can replace him, I guess. But, none as promising as Baretto. Looking to the future, this might be the part of the off season that hurts. Having said that, if that is the biggest disappointment, there aren’t many to choose from.
Toronto Blue Jays
RM: Trading away too much rotational depth and not addressing second base is my choice. By adding Devon Travis, Alex may have acquired Toronto’s ‘next’ second baseman. But what happens in 2015 if Travis isn’t ready or shows he doesn’t have what it takes. Maicer Izturis (vs RHP) and Steve Tolleson (.344 vs LHP) likely will share the second base duties, at least until Travis pushes his way into the big league picture.
SD: While I share your cynicism about 2B, I’m not so sure this is the biggest area of concern. We don’t need a Robinson Cano. We need someone who can play defense and occasionally chip in offensively. We have a combination of several guys who can provide that. The rest of the lineup can carry this type of player. As well, the same type of concern you have for 2B applies to short stop. There is not much depth there after Reyes. Actually, the outfield is in the same boat, especially with Andy Dirks not even heading to big league camp so he can nurse his back. Upon closer examination, there really isn’t much depth anywhere for this club.
Mar 11, 2014; Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
RM: There should be some more options presenting themselves in Buffalo, say by May or June. Izturis will be manning 2nd base. Behind him, we can expect to see Devon Travis, Andy Burns, Kevin Nolan, and Jon Berti and maybe even Ryan Schimpf making a push for a promotion. You’re right about the outfield, the pickings get really slim after Dirks and Pillar, unless they’re banking on Chris Colabello rebounding and playing some LF/RF in Buffalo. Ezequiel Carrera has the potential to surprise, but only as a replacement type, nothing long-term.
SD: Maybe the biggest disappointment will come in the form of not picking up more depth players. I know that AA has been heavily criticized by fans for riding the waiver wire and for minor league deals. But, in its current state, this roster seems to lack the depth that those minor moves could address. The Blue Jays are not going to bring in an All Star at every position and 2-3 for the bench as well. The success of the team could hinge on their ability to round out a deep roster. They haven’t really done that.
RM: At the end of spring training let’s revisit this discussion. Alex will be sitting on that waiver wire and will pickup a couple bullpen arms and an OF or two. Baseball Gods help us all and let us pray for good health in 2015.