Just as Charlie Montoyo has used Cavan Biggio’s versatility to help the Blue Jays this season, it will also help Ross Atkins and the front office in the future.
The Blue Jays have had a lot of important contributors this year, but if I were forced to choose one player for team MVP right now, it would be Cavan Biggio.
The sophomore has been invaluable for Charlie Montoyo this season, and it’s come on both sides of the diamond. He’s found a well-suited role as the leadoff hitter, currently sporting a .372 on-base percentage, and having a knack for coming up with timely hits throughout the year. He’s not an offensive force, but he’s been a steady performer and a consistent presence in the lineup, which has been huge in a year with so many injuries.
What’s been even more valuable to the Blue Jays this season has been Biggio’s positional flexibility. After appearing at third base against the Mets, he’s now made at least one start at five different positions this year including third, his usual spot at second, and all three outfield positions. He proved he can handle first base last year as well, and it’s a skillset that’s been very helpful for a variety of reasons. That’s been especially important this year during a jam-packed schedule, and it’s allowed Montoyo to give his other regulars a rest at times, or to help cover for injuries.
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We’ve already seen that value in action as key players like Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez, Rowdy Tellez and more have landed on the Injured List this year, and I’m sure Biggio will continue to provide as much in the future. The value goes beyond providing rest for his teammates or covering for injury though, and I’m sure Ross Atkins and the front office have to be smiling with the way things have worked out.
Knowing that Biggio can line up almost anywhere on the diamond gives the GM a ton of options as he looks to put the finishing touches on this rebuild in the next season or two. You could argue that there are only one or two holes that may need to be addressed already, and there is still a lot of talent on the way in the minor league pipeline as well. However, just go with me for a moment.
Let’s say the Blue Jays want to make an upgrade at third base for next season, assuming they don’t bring back Travis Shaw. Instead of being limited to searching the free agent or trade market for third basemen, they can expand the net to include middle infielders as well. As a purely hypothetical example, maybe they could finally convince the Royals to trade Whit Merrifield. If that came to fruition, Biggio could slide to third and the infield would be even deeper.
Merrifield is just one option that could potentially be available, but it’s possible the Blue Jays have the answer already. It’s a shame that high-end prospects like Austin Martin, Jordan Groshans, and more didn’t get a normal season of development in 2020, but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see either or both of them debut at some point in the next year or two. When that happens, Biggio’s versatility comes in handy again. We don’t know where Martin will ultimately settle on defence, but in theory, Biggio’s presence will allow him to land where he’s best suited rather than where he can best help the team. And if someday Martin and Groshans joined Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to fill out the infield, Biggio has already shown he can handle the outfield.
Just as we’ve seen them deploy Biggio all over the diamond since the arrival of Jonathan Villar, it’s an option at Montoyo’s disposal this season. That kind of value is gold for a manager, and when a player can give the same to a front office, the options are endless.