With not much happening with the Jays lately I figured I'd do a fanpost to strike up some conversation. Here are some thoughts I've had in the last week. I'd love to hear what you think of these ideas:
Takashi Toritani May Be The Answer At 2B
Who? Not too many players caught my eye at 2B that are currently available, so I looked to Japan. Since there doesn't seem to be many 2B catching my eye, it maybe best to not spend too much at 2B and use a platoon to maximize production. Toritani is a left handed hitting second baseman with a strong glove and OBP. He has more experience playing SS but is thought of being a strong defender at both middle infield positions. He walks more than he strikes out and had a .402OBP this season in Japan. This years 65:104 K-BB ratio definitely appeals to me. He has just become a free agent so he would not cost a posting fee (at least it appears...Finding Japanese contract information isn't the easiest to do). He seems like a cheap option to give a shot to.
Daniel Murphy Could Be A Strong Fit
I'm not a huge fan of the glove, but this guy can definitely hit right handed pitching. He has been rumoured to be on the block by the Mets who could shift Eric Young Jr. to second. Murphy had a 122wrc+ against righties this year and may be able to bounce back to a decent clip against lefties. The glove seems to be weak at 2B but if he is hitting at such a clip he should provide plenty of value vs righties. I wouldn't mind acquiring him to play LF if we could somehow get rid of Melky. I think he could be close to an average fielder in LF and his career .344OBP vs righties is good enough to hit at the top of a lineup. I'm not sure what i'd take to acquire him, but I'm at least interested.
Dustin Ackley & Gordon Beckham Are Names To Keep An Eye On
Ackley is a strong defender at 2B and can hold his own vs. both lefties and righties. He had a very strong second half and may have finally broken out with the bat. A move from Safeco to Rogers Centre could definitely help the power numbers, as he has not hit homers at the same rate at home. Ackley put up a 2.9WAR season in just 90 games in his rookie year. Even though he's had his struggles, there is clearly some potential there. With Seattle needing a closer, could an Ackley for Santos deal make sense?
Beckham is an interesting target because of his reverse splits. His 102wrc+ this year vs righties is pretty solid for a 2B. He seems to have a decent glove at 2B and seems to be a decent option to hit righties in our lineup.
If We Platoon at 2B... Mark Ellis, Logan Forsythe And Kevin Frandsen Are Fits
Ellis is a strong defender who has mashed left handed pitching the last two seasons. He is a strong defender but may be looking for a larger role. He may be too pricey for my liking, but he would be a solid fit nonetheless. Forsythe has hit lefties well for his career but hasn't rated out very strong defensively at 2B (although UZR liked him this year). With Jedd Gyorko manning 2B for the Padres, he may be expendable. Frandsen is my personal favourite as he seems to me like he would cost the least. He has hit lefties well, defends well at 2B and is able to play 1B and 3B as well.
Darwin Barney is another option, although I am not the biggest fan. He is a very strong defender and has respectable career line vs. lefties. As a typical 8 hitter in the NL, I'm not sure that will continue however. Danny Espinosa has hit lefties well in his career, but I don't see the Nationals selling low on him. Jeff Baker is another option, though i'm unsure if he can still play 2B regularly.
Morales Could Fall Into Our Lap
The Jays have a protected first rounder and the loss of a draft pick could scare off many teams. Morales seems like he could regret not taking a Qualifying Offer as teams don't seem to be too interested in him. If he is likely limited to AL teams, he doesn't seem to have much of a market at this point. Having a switch hitter protect Encarnacion appeals to me, as it is much harder to match up late in the game.
It Won't Happen, But I'd Like To See Reyes Hit 3rd
I'm a believer that your best hitters should hit 2nd and 4th. Having Bautista hitting 3rd doesn't make much sense to me, as he often comes up with two out and nobody on. The extra at bats from hitting one spot up in the order could also make a difference. The only issue I have with Bautista and Encarnacion hitting 2-4 is having protection for them. Having a lefty hit in between them doesn't seem to be ideal. I would hate to see a lefty reliever enter the game in a key situation to walk Bautista and face a lefty. If we pinch hit for a LHH specialist, they simply counter with a righty. Having Reyes in the 3 spot would be ideal for me, as he can hit both lefties and righties well. Melky Cabrera is another option, but i'm not sold on him. Although he is a solid leadoff hitter, I am a bigger fan of him in the 3-spot. I'm not sure many people will agree with me (including John Gibbons), but I thought I'd throw the idea out there.
I feel as though we could find a capable leadoff hitter to replace him. I look for OBP primarily in the leadoff spot, and my idea of Daniel Murphy (as a LF) could be a fit. Having a platoon in the leadoff spot could work, as strong OBP against both sides would be solid. I'm just not a fan of Bautista and Edwin hitting 3-4, or having Lind or Rasmus hitting directly after them.
That's all for now, let me know what you think as always. I'd love to hear your opinions on what to do to upgrade the offence. Look forward to hearing from everyone in the comments.