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Today the full list of minor league six year free agents was released. These players have been granted free agency as they are not on the Jays 40 man roster. The full list of the 19 Blue Jays is here....

Pitchers: Chris Baker, Jesse Carlson, Matt Duff, D.J. Hanson, Spike Lundberg, Cameron Reimers, Kevin Tolar.

Catchers: Joseph Depastino, Jose Umbria. Infielders: Jason Alfaro, Clint Johnston, Julius Matos, Bryant Nelson, Desi Relaford, Michael Snyder.

Outfielders: Ronald Acuna, Anton French, Rodney Medina, Anthony Sanders.

Some of these players are free agents signed by the Jays for the 2005 season, Matt Duff, Jesse Carlson, Spike Lundberg, Kevin Tolar, Joe DePastino, Jose Umbria, Julius Matos, Bryant Nelson, Desi Relaford, Jason Alfaro, Ron Acuna, Anton French, and Anthony Sanders all have previously been minor league free agents.

That leaves five players who are free agents for the first time: Chris Baker; Cam Reimers; Mike Snyder; Rodney Medina; and Clint Johnston.

Chris Baker has spent parts of four seasons with Syracuse and turned 28 years old at the end of the season. Baker had a 5.30 ERA this year for Syracuse as he split his time between the rotation and the pen. The Jays could sign Baker for 2006 as insurance for the rotation and the pen.

Cameron Reimers was a 35th round choice by the Jays in the 1998 draft. Reimers has shown the ability to pitch very well at AA, and poorly at AAA. Several other prospects have passed Reimers on the depth chart and I doubt that the Jays will resign him.

Mike Snyder was injured for much of 2005 after spending 2004 at AA. On his return from injury Snyder spent 2005 at Dunedin. I doubt Snyder will return for 2006.

Rodney Medina did not get much of a look in 2005 playing 45 games for Dunedin. Medina was injured to start the year and was a fourth outfielder on his return. In three seasons with Dunedin Medina hit between .250 and .272.

Clint Johnston was profiled by Batters Box here. Johnston is a former pitcher who was converted to a hitter by the Jays. Johnston started 2005 strongly at Dunedin and earned a promotion to New Hampshire. Johnston started well in AA but faded in the second half. Johnston has a good chance of being resigned by the Jays as the Jays are short of hitters and it was the Jays who gave Johnston his break.

Clint Johnston is probably the most likely free agent to return. Any of the others could be signed to fill out AAA, AA or A rosters. Jesse Carlson could also be resigned as lefty pitchers are always in demand and Carlson showed flashes of domination in 2005.

Here are some of the other notable new free agents: Kerry Ligtenberg; Chris Michalak; Chris Stynes; Peter Bergeron; Simon Pond; Felix Romero; Dave Berg; Jared Sandberg; George Lombard; Brad Fullmer; Eric Crozier; Ryan Ludwick; Mike Colangelo; Warren Morris; Todd Dunwoody; Mike Ryan; Pete Munro; Hideo Nomo; Jack Cust; Howie Clark; Tom Evans; Graham Koonce; Jason Kershner; Alex Sanchez; and Bucky Jacobsen. See anyone the Jays should sign?

Blue Jay Six Year Free Agent List | 27 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Kieran - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#130574) #
Cust was at one point a highly-touted slugging first baseman, but has shown little evidence of that promise at the major league level. His career line (only 141 ABs) is .220 .331 .391, with a strikeout for every 2.5 ABs. He'll be 27 next year.

His career minor league totals include a .285 BA and .509 SLG. He has regularly shown .400+ OBP patience, including 2005 but suprisingly posted sub-.500 SLG at AAA the past three years. He struck out 153 times in 479 ABs in AAA this year.

If he could be had cheap, I'd give him one more year at AAA to see if he develops into a serviceable major league, but he appears to a lot more like a Rob Deer than a Jason Giambi...
R Billie - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 01:37 AM EDT (#130575) #
Howie Clark proved to be a useful reserve a couple of years ago. With Menechino moving on it wouldn't be bad to have a guy like him in AAA should problems at 2nd or 3rd arise. However the Jays would need insurance and short and most likely at catcher as priorities.
Twilight - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 02:47 AM EDT (#130576) #
Didn't that Nomo guy used to be good? He had the ultra weird delivery... What happened to him?

I remember Pete Munro too...
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#130578) #
Bucky Jacobsen is an interesting right-handed bat. He had a good minor league career, did well with Seattle in a brief appearance in 2004, and spent most of 2005 on the DL with a knee injury. His rehab stint at the end of the year was not too discouraging, as he tore up single A but struggled in triple A. Given the organizational shortage of bats, I'd be interested.

I've always liked Jason Kershner, but the team will have trouble giving pitching acquisitions enough work at the higher levels.

In other minor league news, Adam Lind is heating up in the AFL. With 4 hits in a doubleheader yesterday, he raised his average to .244. Guillermo Quiroz had a couple of hits in the game he played.
Jonny German - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#130579) #
I'd be interested in Ryan Ludwick, who has been held back by injuries more than anything the last couple years... so might Mr. Ricciardi, seeing as Ludwick was an Oakland 2nd-rounder in 1999.
Craig B - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#130580) #
Given the organizational shortage of bats, I'd be interested.

For Syracuse? I suppose that would work if the Jays don't have a young player to play there at first base. But Jacobsen will be 31 during the season, and is on the downside of his career - he is not a prospect and his skills will be diminishing yearly. I'm happy to take a chance on a pitcher at that age, but less sanguine about a slow-footed, low-average first baseman with bad hands coming off a severe injury. But he has real home run power - the hardest commodity to find.

If the Jays don't have a younger first baseman (Vito?) for Syracuse, then I like the idea of getting Jacobsen in - he's always popular with minor league fans - and having him as an insurance policy for a Hillenbrand or Hinske injury.

Mike Green - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#130581) #
Assuming that the team continues with 12 pitchers on the major league roster (a plan which I do not favor), then yes a player like Jacobsen would be suited for Syracuse. Obviously, you'd be happiest if Chip Cannon tears up the Eastern League in the first half of 2006, but there's no harm in Plan B.
Marc Hulet - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#130583) #
I'm not sure how accurate the list is... I can see a number of Jays' players missing who have well over six full years of minor league service: Chad Mottola, Kevin Barker, Matt Whiteside, Adrian Burnside, Andy Dominique, and Danny Solano.
Also, Jesse Carlson was drafted in 2002 by Detroit and has played only four seasons, not the full six required to be a free agent.
Jim - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#130586) #
Plenty of these guys could help Syracuse. There isn't one name on this list I'd like to ever see in Toronto.
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#130589) #
The Sky Chiefs have had four consecutive losing seasons under the new regime and during the time have played .459 baseball.

Consider the Jays pretty much have no hitting prospects of any consequence and could use some more hitting depth, I don't think it would be asking too much for the team to try to acquire a couple of AAAA-caliber hitting machines, whether it be through free agency or trade.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#130590) #
Sal Fasano is on the free agent list. He'd make a nice plan B catcher.
Craig B - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#130591) #
Fasano's been dreadfully underused the last few years. Good catch, Mike; he's big-league quality.
Mike Green - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#130592) #
Mark Johnson would also make a good back-up to the back-up catching option. There would be nothing wrong with going to camp with Zaun, Quiroz, Fasano and Johnson.
Jim - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#130594) #
Fasano and Johnson were the two names I noted as well, I focused on the catchers mostly. The full list is on Baseball America (sub) or BTF.

Fasano's page on b-r is great. It shows his last game coming in 2002, before he made a return to the majors 3 years later.
Craig B - Wednesday, October 26 2005 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#130595) #
Fasano had Tommy John surgery after the '02 season, which meant that he missed all of '03. He always had a pretty good glove rep, but he didn't throw out many guys this year in Baltimore and I wonder if his arm has suffered.

He doesn't hit the ball often, but boy does he hit it far. Fasano has 41 homers in 829 MLB at-bats, a ratio of almost exactly 20-1. In the minors, it's 16-1. He probably has as much home run power as any catcher in the majors, if not more -- I have complete faith that if you put Sal Fasano out there for 130 games as your starting guy, he'd hit 25 homers.

The problem is, he's intensely one-dimensional offensively. He doesn't even hit doubles, let alone singles; and while he draws an occasional walk it's only enough to nudge his OBP up around .300. But a .300 OBP and 25 bombs is a heck of an offensive catcher. He's Todd Greene with a better glove, and it was nice to see the O's give him a chance.
Ben - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 05:15 AM EDT (#130608) #
The thing I remember about Fasano was the absolute bomb he hit at the Coluseum when he was playing for the A's in 2000. He hit it so far that he broke a window in the box seats above the centerfield bleachers. Besides that he was pretty unspectacular, but man was that awesome.
Gitz - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#130642) #
Mark Johnson would be a waste of an invite to spring training. Fasano is a far more interesting player. As Craig B. summarises, the dude's got proven power, even if it comes at the cost of a lot of outs. Johnson has only proven one thing: that he's terrible.
Mike Green - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 03:38 PM EDT (#130645) #
Don't agree, Gitz. Johnson's .215/.310/.315 career major league line is obviously not going to get your heart beating fast, but you need to have better options than Ken Huckaby.

He'll fit that bill, and youneverknow, his minor league record does suggest that he could hit a little better than his career line.
Maldoff - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#130652) #
Does anyone have the actual list of 6 year free agents? BA and BTF only have them available to subscribers.
3RunHomer - Thursday, October 27 2005 @ 05:49 PM EDT (#130660) #
Sal "passed ball" Fasano -- I saw him behind the plate quite a bit in Baltimore this season and the man cannot catch. Balls get by him regularly. Although some were scored wild pitches, Sal wasn't helping his pitchers any. Bedard will be glad that pudgy immobile rock-glove Sal is gone.
Jim - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#130685) #
The entire list is on Baseball Primer, if you go to the thread about minor league free agents and click on the comments the list is at the top.
Maldoff - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#130695) #
I must have issues, because I still cannot find it there!
Jim - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#130698) #
I can't find it there anymore. Maybe they pulled it because it was from the sub part of BA.
John Northey - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 01:10 PM EDT (#130701) #
Speaking of free agents, it is interesting to note the Jays have 0 major league free agents this year. Nada. Zero. Zip.

So the only way anyone on the major league roster is lost this winter is by trade or release or non-tender. Don't know when that last happened for the Jays.

The link for ML free agent potentials is at

googlemay - Friday, October 28 2005 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#130703) #
A guy that would definitely serve as a great AAA hitter is Graham Koonce, I've always thought hes never been given a shot

Lucas - Thursday, November 03 2005 @ 01:38 PM EST (#131167) #
Baker signed with Texas.
Ken MacDonald - Wednesday, November 09 2005 @ 09:43 AM EST (#131562) #
A few veteren arms would be nice to add to the mix of prospects in Syracuse.There will be alot of young pitchers on that team that might take advantage of having a vetern or two to turn to.Howie Clark and Jack Cust could also have value as depth players in case of MLB injuries.
Anyone out there know if there in anyplace on the net where I could get access to the Jays early years (late 70's-early 80's) minor league stats.Any help would be greatly appreciated,thanks!
Blue Jay Six Year Free Agent List | 27 comments | Create New Account
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