We signed Ezequiel Carrera as a free agent in the offseason before the 2015 season. He is 28 now.
Carrera has played in the MLB for parts of 5 season, for 4 different teams, a total of 267 games, and has a bWAR of 0.1, so you pretty much have your definition of replacement player right here.
As replacement players go, he does have some value:
- He can be handy as a pinch runner. He has stolen some bases (27 career steals, 8 times caught), but I think I'd call him fast anymore. But he could pinch run for some of the slower players, just don't expect him to pinch run and steal second and third
- He's a left-handed bat, but he's got even splits (has a .659 career OPS vs both left-handed and right-handed pitchers) (what are the odds against having exactly the same OPS splits, to 3 significant digits, after 670 PA).
- He can play all three outfield spots. Not that he can play them well, but he can play them. He's better than having Chris Colabello out there. He's a career -4.6 UZR/150 in the outfield.
In 2015, Ezequiel played in 91 games (did he really play in 91 games? I'd have guessed half that.). He hit .273/.321/.372, with 3 home runs and 2 stolen bases. UZR really didn't like his defense. He had a -10.1 UZR/150. That's almost enough to make me take back that line about him being better than Colabello.
One day I'm going to do a post asking people who is their favorite replacement level player. I have affection for a number of players who are basically replacement level.
Will we see him in a Blue Jays uniform this season?
Oh, I hope not. If he makes the team, I'll take it as a sign that the team doesn't know what it is doing.
The Jays have 7 outfielders on their 40-man roster. Jose Bautista and Kevin Pillar have jobs. If he is healthy Michael Saunders is pretty sure to have a job. That leaves Carrera, Darrell Ceciliani, Junior Lake and Dalton Pompey likely battling for one roster spot. Personally, I'm hoping Pompey gets the it, but I think he'll have to have a good spring.
Looking at our handy dandy Option and Outright Status Table, we see that Carrera is out of options, and, if outrighted, he has the right to elect free agency, which I think he would. So, if the Jays wanted to keep him, they would give him every chance to make the team, but they shouldn't care. I'd expect that he will be gone from our 40-man by April 1st.