First official post. Yikes.
Those of you, who know me from my interventions, probably know that I’m really interested by the asset management side of the franchise. I already wrote a FanPost starting the discussion on the 40-man roster, but now I’d like to start looking at some decisions the Jays will be facing this off-season.
First off, Colby Rasmus.
The Colby the Jays hoped they were acquiring, when they sent a gaggle of relievers to the Cards in July 2011, finally arrived in 2013. In 118 games, Colby finished with the following slash line .276/.338/.501, matching his 2010 breakout year.
|2013 - Colby Rasmus||118||417||57||115||26||1||22||66||37||135||0||1||.276||.338||.501|
He did still have K% issues, but that improved as the year went on. Combined with outstanding defense metrics he finished the year with 4.8 fWAR, the top number on the team. In our recent poll of Top Position Players, he finished second behind Edwin Encarnacion.
In 2013, Colby made $4.675M, which means he had a plus value of about $20M to the team. He now enters his last year of arbitration and would be a Free Agent at the end of next year. So, the Jays will be faced with a major decision. He just turned 27, is entering his prime, and his power would allow him to be a good corner OF when time forces him out of CF.
What should the Jays do?
On one hand I believe he is one of the most tradable assets on the team. An expectation of $10-20M plus value next year is not unreasonable. He would be a prized FA and would likely get a Q.O. next fall. Though he did miss time due to injury, he had been healthy his first 4 years. The heir apparent Anthony Gose, had a difficult year, along with negative attitude reports from AAA. Once promoted he did better than many of us expected, but is he ready to take over? After Gose, the next ones in line are far away (Pompey, DJ Davis)…
On the other hand, we have a true quality player, at a premium position, who appears happy with the Jays, after a tough time with his prior club. He is entering his prime, making him a fixture for years to come might not be a bad idea.
The middle ground decision is arbitration/one year contract and see what happens. AA has shown in the past that he is willing to extend during the season (when performance warrants). Worst case scenario, the Jays are not committed should Colby revert to 2012, or they get a draft pick in 2015 (who will be in playing on Grass by the time he gets to Rogers Centre).
When I started writing the piece, I really thought I would be wavering between Trade and Extension options. I consider Colby to be one of the best trading chip to fill other gaps Jays have, and with little baggage attached to him. The one thing that didn't dawn on me, was how relatively young he is. Colby will be 28 next year and he should still have 3-4 year of above average premium position playing. Comparing this to the current crop of FA, where Salty is the only one below 30 i think. I really hope the Jays explore an extension at this point- probably back loading after 2015. Something in the 4 years + option range (based on typical Jays preferences).
What would you like the Jays to do?
As mentioned this is my first blog post, so any input of what else would be of interest is greatly appreciated.