Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Bits and Pieces

Maybe it's just the nature of the event but Alex has given us JUST a bit more insight into his thinking at Winter Meting scrums than he normally does and it seems to me these are the takeaway facts so far . . .

1. He's focused on adding established bullpen help. Hopefully that's not old marginal sorts like Dotel and Rauch, but clearly he'd like to bring in a couple of veteran relief arms;

2. He is more than a little interested in Adam Lind being the long term 1B, and said today that the ideal addition would be someone who's primary job was to DH but who could step in at 1B if the experiment with Lind goes south on the defensive side;

3. He's open to adding "the right player" at catcher, but he's committed to developing Arencibia which means whoever it is has to be amicable to a time-sharing arrangement, either by willingness to sit or willingness to move around the diamond;

4. Not a lot has been said about adding an established 3B, which leads to all sorts of speculation. There is a general feeling that the team would prefer to leave Hill and Bautista where they are, and that reinforced by AA allowing as to how he thought import Brett Lawrie's skill set played better at 3B (i.e. if you are going to pencil in Lawrie as the long term 3B you don't need to be moving other players there and then back out to their old position). Lawrie, for his part, is making no secret that he wants to break camp in the majors but I'd be stunned if the jays felt comfortable enough with his D at third by April 1 to do that. if so, Butter will have earned his pay for the year.

As I've noted before, speculation about what AA WILL do is a fool's errand. He'll do something you never saw coming. As to what seems logicale to do . . .

RE #1 - Some names that make some sense, given recent production and the Jays situation - Saito, Fuentes, Wood, Crain, Okajima, Feleciano, and Uehara. Kerry Wood has possibilities but, like Gregg, would be sort of an adventure. You might see if Kelvim Escobar would take a minor league deal and see if he can get any of his former stuff back. Frankly, there are so many variations here that speculations is all but useless.

RE#2 - The obvious veteran solution is Derrek Lee, assuming a man known for his glove is willing to take a back seat on playing in the field to Lind. He migh5t be enough of a bargain, though, that you postpone that experiment. Similar in potential production to Lee is Adam LaRoche. Past that it's nothing but question marks and intuition. Can Nick Johnson stay healthy, for instance? Try to patch in a journeyman type? See if Carlos Delgado wants to make a comeback?
(As an aside, I see no reason why the Jays wouldn't put their army of scouts to work on Delgado and see how he is physically. It wouldn't cost anything significant to see if there's anything there - though it's worth noting he's apparently not playing winter ball which you'd think you'd want to do if you wanted to prove your health)

RE#3 - Russel Martin. Really, there's not another freely available catcher who profiles as the sort of guy he means. It would be better if the word wasn't out that Martin still had strong feelings about catching. if he could be the primary 3B and the emergency option behind the plate it would be excellent. Don't see another player that this is relevant to. In the same vein, relating more to #2 perhaps, you might take a flyer on Eric Chavez as a rimary DH (for his health) and emergency corner IF but who knows if he has anything left?

RE #4 - Basically, a lot depends on whether they buy the idea of giving Lawrie a shot to make the team or not, and they aren't saying. there's Emaus, but if they didn't even put him on the 40, what are the odds that he will win their favor now? Externally, Beltre is too high, chavez is too fragile, Glaus ain't coming back to turf, and after that you are looking at the likes of Joe Crede or Pedro Feliz. Ugh. There's the martin option, of course, if he were willing. Otherwise you hope you can trade for someone. Alex Gordon remains intriguing. The White Sox discussed Beckham a couple of times but his price would be exorbinent. Otherwise, the pickings are slim.

Of course, there's the option of moving Bautista back to 3b, or Hill - but the team seems reluctant to do so unless a solid option presents itself that makes it worth while.

Speaking of -

Might be useless speculation, but Rosenthal suggesting the White Sox were running out of money and might dangle Carlos Quintin for bullpen help. if I could build something around Frasor I'd be all over that.

One other wild hair thought - everyone considers oakland's 1B prospect Chris Carter to be all-that, one wonders what it would take to get Daric Barton (you have to assume the Jays would be content for Lind to DH if Barton could be had - heck, there might be some logic in a trade of the two for each other if the jays are willing to swap the power for the defense and OBP.

Nothing but random speculation of course, but hey, it is the winter meetings so when better?

Rule 5 draft in the AM.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that both Rule 5 picks seem to be primarily middle infielders.

Chill said...

So Lawrie is said to have one of the best RH swings in the minors (Klaw, I think?)...does that equate to Molitor-esque? If so, plant him at third in March and let's evaluate his D in October.

spiggy said...

I dunno, Lawrie seems pretty young to just drop at 3B at the major league level. Put him in AAA, and if he tears it up for the first half of the season, consider calling him up after the all-star break.

I'd just hate to send him up/down/up/down and burn tons of service time. We have a hole at 3B now, but I'd rather fill it with a potato sack for a year than fuck up Lawrie's development.