3. 3B/RF – I had to re-think this one over the weekend. The initial "Likely Scenario" I had was with the Jays bringing Encarnacion back, now that he’s in Oakland that seems highly unlikely so I’m going a different route here.
Internal Candidates: For 3B the internal candidates the Jays have are Aaron Hill, Jose Bautista or prospect Brad Emaus. Moving Hill to 3B would obviously open up a hole at 2B which would need filling and likewise with Bautista moving in from RF. Emaus is an interesting candidate. He posted a solid offensive season in AA/AAA in 2010 posting a combined .290/.397/.476 line, though most of that came in hitter-friendly Las Vegas. For RF the internal candidates would be Bautista and Travis Snider (creating a hole in LF).
External Candidate: On the free agent market the top RF draw is Jayson Werth followed by Magglio Ordonez (mentioned as a DH candidate), Brad Hawpe and Jeff Francoeur who was let go by the Rangers, though he might be more of a platoon player at this point. On the trade front Carlos Quentin and Bobby Abreu might become available. For third basement the pickings are even more slim with Adrian Beltre leading the group by a large margin with no one else really worth giving everyday at bats to. On the trade front for 3B options we have heard Alex Gordon’s and Dan Uggla’s names linked to the Jays while Arizona might make Mark Reynolds available I feeling the asking price would be too high for a strikeout machine like Reynolds. Other interesting trade candidates would include Chone Figgins, Mark Teahen, Brandon Wood, Mat Gamel and Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Likely Scenario: The likeliest scenario here is for the Jays to explore the trade market for either a 2B, 3B or RF’er and fill Bautista and Hill in the spots not occupied by the newest Jay. Though I think for Dan Uggla the price will be too high so the likeliest trade candidate I see would be Alex Gordon. Should that fall through I’d look for the Jays to sign Orlando Hudson for 2B and move Hill over to 3B.
Up next: 5th Starter