The excitement over the start of Spring Training is still lingering but we really need some games to start. Pitchers and Catchers have reported, and now the position players are in camp. There are nice stories coming out on new contracts (Bautista), top prospects experiencing their first spring training (Hechevarria) or with the Blue Jays (Lawrie, Gose), John Farrell at the helm for his first Spring Training and players adapting to new roles and fighting for roster spots.
This story appeared in today’s Globe and Mail. Johnny Mac proves again what a great guy he is…
Well Mr. Anthopolous has made a deal for Oakland’s Rajai Davis. This deal didn’t make me jump for joy but I think it was another good pick-up for the Blue Jays.
I’m not quite sure the exact impact Davis will have on the team as it’s not clear what Davis’ role will be. Will he be an everyday outfielder with Wells and Snider and bat lead-off? Or will he be the team’s fourth outfielder ala DeWayne Wise? Either way this is a positive addition for the Blue Jays because of Davis’ speed.
The 2010 Blue Jays lacked speed, that was clearly evident. Fred Lewis provided some speed and guys like Bautista, Wells, Hill and Snider aren’t slow on the basepaths but there was no player who would, when on base, really provide a clear base-stealing threat. Davis will provide that.
If Davis is a starting outfielder on opening day, then Jose Bautista could become the team’s everyday third baseman. Not terrible as Bautista plays a decent hot corner. However, you lose Bautista’s arm in right.
If Davis is the fourth outfielder then there is still a hole a third base that will need to be filled.
Speculating at this point as to who will play third, or first next season is really fruitless as the offseason has just begun and AA has not finished making moves for 2011 so I will not elaborate any further.
We do know one thing and that is John Buck is no longer a Blue Jay. I liked Buck behind the plate last year and he did hit 20 homeruns but am glad the Jays did not re-sign him. The Marlins signed Buck to a reported 3-year, $18 million contract which is extremely high in my opinion. As was the case with Marco Scutaro last off season, it was best to let Buck go as there is little chance the Jays would get full value for the salary they would have to pay to retain him. The Jays have Jose Molina under contract for 2011 and it is hoped J.P. Arencibia can step into the starting catcher’s role.
I must say, I was a little frustrated in September when Cito kept inserting Buck into the line-up everyday so that he could reach 20 homeruns when Arencibia was left to rot on the bench. It did nothing for Arencibia’s development and left a bigger question mark as to whether Arencibia is ready for a starting catcher’s role at the big league level. Now Alex Anthopolous has to decide whether to hand the reigns over to Arencibia or go out and sign a guy like Miguel Olivo to platoon with Molina behind the plate.