2. 1B/DH – I’m grouping these together because Adam Lind will likely fill one of the spots, it just depends on who the Jays look to fill the other which will determine who plays where. Lyle Overbay handled 1B duties for the last few years but is a free-agent, his defence was appreciated where his bat left a lot to be desired.
Internal Candidates: As mentioned, Lind will occupy one spot, the other is up for grabs. After the trade of heir-apparent Brett Wallace the Jays don’t have a great deal of Major League ready talent to take over everyday 1B/DH duties in 2011. The Jays could look to JP Arencibia to handle some DH time, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion (if retained) or even Travis Snider could play 1B but would leave holes elsewhere.
External Candidates: On the free agent market the most intriguing names available at 1B are Adam Dunn, Aubrey Huff, Paul Konerko, Lance Berkman, Carlos Pena and Derrek Lee. On the trade front there are two big name 1Bs available in Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez and some others that would be considered projects in James Loney and Chris Davis. On the DH side you could look at some of the above mentioned 1Bs (Dunn, Huff, Berkman) as well as Manny Ramirez, Magglio Ordonez, Johnny Damon, Jonny Gomes and Andruw Jones as free agents. Trade wise Carlos Lee, Raul Ibanez, Josh Willingham, Bobby Abreu and Mat Gamel could fit the bill.
Likely Scenario: I’ve gone back and forth on what I think will happen here but ultimately I think the Jays will want to have Adam Lind play in the field in 2011 as they don’t want to limit a 26 year old player to just DH duties, so that means the Jays will likely go externally to fill their DH hole. DH will also cost a little less to fill on the free agent market then a capable 1B with an equal bat. Ultimately I see Manny Ramirez or Magglio Ordonez with the Jays in 2011 on a short-term incentive based contract.
Pie in the Sky: Trade for Adrian Gonzalez, he has been an all-star hitter in the toughest pitchers park in baseball, he could be a dominant force for the Jays for a long time and it would also prevent the Red Sox from acquiring him.
Up next: 3B/RF