Back at it again, Looking for some opinions on some things. Let’s just start with the offensive side for now, but remember, the more you spend on position players the less you can spend on pitching. Instead of choosing specific moves I'll throw some options out there and see what you think they should do/ how much it would cost to acquire.
Positions that are a given are 1st, 3rd and RF. Let's assume the Jays are going to at least make a decent run of it. AA has said they are going to add 'veteran complements' to the team. Veterans cost money, and young players often cost the league minimum. Adding (for example) 3 veterans in place of players that would make the league minimum leads to raising payroll by at least 12 million. Factor in that they have some money to spend to equal last years payroll and that leaves us around the 20 million mark. If you have suggestions, do not suggest they spend any more than 35 million, tops. It's too unrealistic after that point.
I doubt anyone will want to talk about the last bench players or last bullpen spot until the other spots are filled, so we will forget about that for now. I have thought of some other options from my last article so do not be surprised if they change a bit
C: Mathis will backup, Arencibia or D'arnaud will get the starter's spot. Which one starts is the question. D'arnaud is unproven but is very highly thought of in the eyes of scouts. In my last article I said ship off Arencibia in the offseason but I have now thought of another alternative. There are tons of alternatives on the Catching front this offseason so Arencibia will not command market value in a trade. Start Arencibia and put D'arnaud in AAA unless he is impressing in Spring. Whether or not he makes the team to start the year doesn't make to much of a difference in my opinion, he should be up by Mid-May at the latest.
The problem then becomes the fact that you have 3 catchers on your MLB roster, but catching depth isn't a bad thing. Mathis can play every 4th or 5th game, leaving Arencibia and D'arnaud to share 75-80% of games behind the plate. We can use one of the two to DH vs Lefties in favour of Lind. If Lind starts in 66% of our games (every 1-3 starter is a lefty or so) then D'arnaud and Arencibia can also split time at DH for the remaining 30% of games (Team could Give Bautista a day off in the field for a game or two). They could also involve them as Pitch Hitters late in games vs. Lefties. If Arencibia struggles then D'arnaud can take over, if D'arnaud struggles he can go back to AAA. An injury to EE, Lind or a Catcher allows for even more playing time. We could afford to have an injury then and Catchers need more rest anyways then the typical player. Whether JPA is traded now or midseason will his trade value likely be hurt that much? I don't think so. Does anyone else think this is plausible?
DH: I think the Jays have to stay internal with Lind on this. He has had a good 2nd half and will at least hit for some power. The Jays would likely have to eat salary in a Lind trade, and realistically they would probably be better off spending money upgrading in other positions.
SS: Hech vs Yunel. Escobar could shift over to 2nd if you believe in Hech's bat. Escobar's trade value is apparently way down so I do not know why we would trade him now (from a baseball perspective). Escobar is an above on both sides of the ball as a middle infielder. He is controllable and isn't breaking the bank. Am I the only one saying Keep Yunel?
2B: Hech vs Free Agent: If they keep Yunel they must decide whether to give Hech the other starting Middle INF spot. Hech has been great lately, but depth doesn't hurt. I say acquire a 2nd Baseman one way or another and keep Hechavarria in AAA incase of an injury. I did not mean to suggest trading Hech in my last article, but if it is the difference between getting or not getting an ace then I may have to pull the trigger. Here's the list of options I could think of:
Trade: Altuve, Murphy, Ackley, Beckham, J.Weeks, R.Weeks, Barney, Lobardozzi, Young Jr., Prado
Free Agents: Keppinger, Scutaro, Theriot
Other: A.Cabrera, Aviles
All you have to know:
Altuve and Ackley are young controllable players who would cost a lot in terms of prospects. R.Weeks would cost quite a lot and may not even be available. Lombardozzi wouldn't be much of an upgrade but could compete with Hech for a job. Prado may not be available and if he is he may cost a decent amount in prospects. Young Jr. is coming off a good year but plays at a very offensive ballpark, but I mean it's a decent option. J.Weeks and Beckham haven't really lived up to their potential but have upside. Barney is a decent fielder but doesn't get on base a lot. Theriot is not a league average starter so I don't think that is a fit. Keppinger is not a bad option but his value is probably at his highest right now, not the best time to acquire a player.
Aviles I could see as possible compensation if the the Jays let Farrell walk but I would expect them to get more. I do not think A.Cabrera would be available but it has been mentioned, if he is then i'd look into it. Scutaro and Murphy are the best options in my few. Scutaro is a switch hitter with a high OBP and some speed, what’s not to like? I prefer Scutaro, but if the price exceeds 7.5M a year I ask the Mets about Murphy. Who do you want that you think could be available? Keep in mind the cost both in money and prospects. The answer is easy for me, sign KJ to a longterm deal. Kidding.
CF: Rasmus vs Gose- I mean you could trade Rasmus and make Gose the starter but why bother? Gose could use some time in AAA to work on his bat and I think it will serve us well to be patient with him. If the Jays decide they want to turn to Gose by midseason then Rasmus would likely land a decent return.
LF: I think we need to acquire somebody here. Gose is an option but as I said earlier, could use the AB’s in AAA. Sierra just doesn’t cut it for me with so many names out there. The Jays have only Lind and Rasmus as LHB in their projected starting lineup so they could use a Lefty bat.
Bourn and Hamilton are perfect fits, but they are going to get paid. Toronto will not be their first landing choice either, so they will have to really put an offer out there. I just don’t see it happening but I mean “dare to dream?”
Victorino and Melky are also appealing. Victorino will cost though and isn’t an elite offensive player. I think I would rather spend the money on pitching. Melky is a huge question mark. I have no idea how much he would cost, it is very hard to say. He also got caught for PEDs, so who knows how much they affected his performance. He’s a switch hitter so it is a decent fit. I would probably hit him 2nd after Lawrie and see if he could be anything like he was before getting suspended. Grady Sizemore is also out there, I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Jays Uni. He wouldn’t cost as much and has lots of upside, but the guy is severely injury prone. But hey, if the doctors prove he’s good to go then he’s a Left handed bat option at a fairly low cost.
Span and Choo are possible fits and should be traded in the offseason. They are both left handed hitters who could be placed at the top of the Lineup. They don’t cost a ton of $ but at the same time they aren’t cheap either. The cost of prospects it would cost Toronto would be fairly high, that’s the other issue. In the right deal I would love to see them in T.O, but I think we would have to give up too much for my liking.
I don’t see Hunter wanting to come to T.O, and I think he would cost too much anyways. Ichiro is an option but will cost and is not what he once was. I do not see him coming to T.O. Delmon Young doesn’t excite me and I’m not sure Cody Ross would want to come here unless we overpaid.
BJ Upton is out there but will definitely cost us some money. His primary assets are his Defense and Speed. We have a player in Anthony Gose who is even faster and better defensively. Sure Upton has the better bat at this stage, but not 10M/year+ better.
Justin Upton could be a big name traded and would be great to have. If the price is right I would take him in a second but I think we would be better off trading prospects for pitching. The Rockies did say they would look to trade position players for prospects so I’ll throw Fowler and Gonzalez’s names out there. CarGo likely will stay put but I thought I would daydream for a minute. Fowler is an interesting option but would cost quite a bit and does play in an offensive park, so he may not be as good as his stats look.
If the Nationals sign a CF and lock up Laroche would Morse be available? The Pirates could have a surplus of OF’s and trade Tabata, but he’s coming off a bad year. The cubs could deal Soriano and Dejesus and maybe the Dbacks trade Parra instead of Upton. Logan Morrison may be a good buy low player if the Marlins shop him. I like Will Venable as I mentioned in my last post for the right price, which could be less then I stated. Chris Young’s name will also be mentioned but he isn’t enough of a sure thing for me. Anyways I’ll let you decide this one, and what do you think it will cost. Personally I think it may be best to look at a cheaper option and spend on pitching.
Anyways I’m interested in hearing your opinions on every position. Remember if you want to acquire a Big name player you have to give up somebody so try to keep the Felix Hernandez for Jeff Mathis trade scenario’s to a minimum. Who else not on the list do you think the Jays could/should get?