Late add....give us your own choices for the 5, copy and paste the following into a comment, and give us your choices:
Must keep --
Should keep --
Should trade --
Must get rid of --
The SB Nation baseball blogs are each doing a post today on the off-season's 5 most pivotal players for their respective teams.
Here is our entry:
Must Keep: Jose Reyes
I don't believe in the idea of an untouchable player, I'd trade anyone if the deal was right, but Jose Reyes is as close as the Jays have to an untouchable player. There are only a handful of real 'leadoff' men in baseball. He gets on base at a decent rate and he steals bases. If Reyes was traded, I don't know who we'd use to lead off but he wouldn't be near as good as Reyes.
Also, as much as I don't think Jose is a great defensive shortstop, I don't see anyone else in the Jays' system that is ready to play short at the major league level. Well, I'm sure Goins could do the job defensively, but I think he'd struggle to hit .220. So, I don't think the Jays should consider trading Reyes.
Brett Lawrie would also be a good choice. Being Canadian, he might have a value more value to the Blue Jays than he could have for any other team.
Should Keep: Jose Bautista
There are plenty of rumors that the Jays are looking to trade Jose Bautista, and sometimes, when there are that many rumors, they have something behind them. In this case, I think there are a number of writers that would like Jose on their team, so they figure starting a rumor will help that happen. There aren't many players like Bautista. Not many guys that you can count on putting up 40 home runs in a season (if healthy). Not many guys that will take 80-100 walks in a season. As always, if you can get someone to overpay for the guy, sure trade him, but, if we are planning to win, it would be hard to replace him. Unless you got someone back in a trade, we'd be looking at Moises Sierra and/or Anthony Gose in RF, that would be a huge downgrade. It would be tough to bring players back that would improve the team enough to make up for that drop off.
Neutral: Adam Lind
Yeah, they could trade Adam, but I don't see that he'd have much value. Players without a defensive position rarely have much trade value. Lind is a handy guy for us. Against right-handers, he's a very useful bat. Yeah, it would be better if he could hit lefties, but but none of us are perfect. If they trade him, I'd likely shrug my shoulders and move on.
Should Trade: Casey Janssen
Casey is the name I put in, but really, the Jays should trade whatever reliever can get them the best return. If a team wanted Brett Cecil more than Casey, go for it. If you could make a better deal for Steve Delabar, trade him. If was GM of the Tigers or any other team that needed a reliever in the back end of the pen, I'd ask about Delabar. I think Delabar could easily be a lights out closer, if given a chance.
But I picked Janssen because he has that 'proven closer' smell that is so important to some GMs. Casey has been very consistent over the last few years. He's great, any team would love to have him. I like having him, but I think his trade value would be higher than his value to the team. We have 3 or 4 other guys that could slide into the closer role without us skipping a beat.
Must Get Rid Of: J.P. Arencibia
You knew what I was going to say for this one. JP, I really do love you man, but it is time to go. I still do think there is a lot of talent buried in there, somewhere, but I don't think it is going to come out as a Blue Jay. He seems to have dug his heels in and is bound and determined not to grow as a hitter. A trade might be enough of a shock to the system that he would understand that he has to change things.
Beyond his inability to draw a walk, catch a ball, make a throw, make a tag, I'd have to think the Jays would be tired of, how to put it, the entire JP experience. Whining about how mean Gregg and Dirk are being to him, the whole #getusedtoit crap and the whole 'run producer' thing, all that has to be wearing thin on his employers. I mean, if you are a good player, I'm willing to overlook a little bit of off the field troubles, but if you have a negative WAR, you better not be causing PR problems for the team.
More from Bluebird Banter:
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