Rosenthal: Rival Executive Expects Blue Jays To Sign Maicer Izturis

Macier Izturis jumps over Johnny Gomes. - Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

The Blue Jays are reported to be close to signing a middle infielder, and early morning rumours from the general managers' meetings have pointed the arrow in the direction of Maicer Izturis. If he were to sign, he would likely fill in the utility infielder role on the 2013 team.

In a very early morning tweet (at least for us in the Eastern time zone), Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported that a rival executive expects that the Toronto Blue Jays will be signing free agent infielder Macier Izturis. This is after Sportsnet's Shi Davidi heard that the Jays were close to signing a free agent second-baseman with Major League experience to help add some desperately needed depth.

Macier Izturis, 32, is the half-brother of former Blue Jay infielder Cesar Izturis and was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 1998 at age 18. He toiled in the minor leagues until 2004 when he was traded to the Montreal Expos organization where he played 99 games in Edmonton before making his big league debut with the Expos on August 27 of that year, going 1-for-3 with a walk. He played just 32 games for the franchise during their last year in Canada. Izturis flew out for the first out of the last Major League inning ever played in Stade Olympique, and was the final pinch hitter and second-last player to bat for the Expos.

That offseason Izturis and former Blue Jay outfielder Juan Rivera were traded to the then-Anaheim Angels for right fielder Jose Guillen. Izturis has played 8 seasons with the Angels, becoming their longest-tenured player. Izturis was never n everyday player, although when healthy (generally in odd years) he started around 100 games per season in 2007, 2009, and 2011. His career batting line is .273/.337/.381 in 2913 plate appearances, with 34 HR, 146 2B, 38 K, 25 BB, 91 SB-28 CS. Although the power is absent, his OPS+ and wRC+ of 94 is pretty decent for a backup middle infielder. Mike Aviles, by comparison, has more power, but a lower on-base percentage.

Izturis' best year came in 2009 when he played in 114 games, hitting .300/.359/.434, and was worth 3.5 WAR. He parlayed that career year into a 3-year, $10 million contract with the Angels to avoid arbitration after that season.

On the field, Izturis played 2B, SS, and 3B last year, with the bulk of his time spent at the hot corner. Thinking back on the handful of times I've seen him play, I don't remember him as a spectacular defensive guy, but he wasn't horrible either.

I imagine that the club will treat Izturis much the same way as they had planned to treat Mike Aviles: the plan is for him to contribute off the bench as an utility guy, and start around two games a week. The club is probably targeting to sign or trade for someone better to take over Kelly Johnson at second base, but if all fails, Izturis can do that job.

Of course, we should all keep in mind that none of this came from the Alex Anthopoulos (of course not) or anyone from the Blue Jays, it is just speculation from an executive from a rival club.

You can read more about Maicer Izturis and his many nick names from the fine folks at Halos Heaven.

UPDATE

Shi Davidi tweeted that it is unlikely that the Blue Jays will sign two-time World Series champion Ryan Theriot.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Bluebird Banter

You must be a member of Bluebird Banter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bluebird Banter. You should read them.

Join Bluebird Banter

You must be a member of Bluebird Banter to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Bluebird Banter. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker