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Blue Jays Birthdays: Maicer Izturis

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images

Former Blue Jays infielder Maicer Izturis turns 43 today.

You’ll likely remember him. Alex Anthopoulos signed him as a free agent back in November of 2012. Maicer got three years (plus a team option for a fourth) at $3 million annually. At the time, it was Alex’s biggest free-agent signing.

It didn’t turn out well.

Alex said he was the ‘leading candidate’ to play second base, but he was still looking to improve the position. Near the same time, Alex traded Mike Aviles (and Yan Gomes) to Cleveland for Esmil Rogers. That didn’t work out well either. Though we wouldn’t have been better off with Aviles at second, he was healthier but didn’t hit much. We had just traded John Farrell for Aviles from the Red Sox.

Alex would make a big trade with the Marlins a few days later. Included in the trade was Emilio Bonifacio, who would share time with Izturis at second for part of the 2013 season. We used many different second basemen over the next few years, including Munenori Kawasaki and Ryan Goins.

Izturis played 118 games in the three seasons, spending more time on the DL than in uniform (he slipped on dugout steps in Baltimore, tearing his lateral collateral ligament). The Jays declined the option on the 2016 season, giving him the $1,000,000 buyout.

Izturis hit .240/.291/.310 with 5 home runs.

In January 2016, the Jays signed him to a minor-league deal, but he never played again.

Maicer played 11 seasons in the MLB. He hit .269/.331/.372 with 39 home runs in 909 games. Most of those 11 seasons were with the Angels, but he came out with the Expos.

Happy Birthday, Maicer, I hope it is a good one.

Clayton Richard turns 40 today.

The Jays traded for Richards before the 2019 season, sending Connor Panas to San Diego. Connor was born in Toronto and played on our National teams some, but never made the MLB.

He was 35 at the time. A lefty, he had pitched for ten MLB seasons, mainly with the Padres. He had a 68-79 record, a 4.46 ERA in 265 games, 200 starts.

In 2018, he had an ERA of 5.33 but an FIP of 4.68. So, there were questions about if he could pitch in the AL East.

It turned out he couldn’t. He made ten starts and had a 5.96 ERA. He didn’t get strikeouts (4.4 per 9), but he walked a fair number (3.6 per 9), which isn’t a recipe for success. The Jays released him in September (on his birthday). And that was the end of his major league career.