Jays Designate Hillenbrand For Assignment

Wednesday, July 19 2006 @ 09:49 PM EDT

Contributed by: Pistol

According to the Toronto Star the Jays have designated Shea Hillenbrand for assignment after an incident earlier in the day.

The Jays have 10 days to trade or assign Hillenbrand to their minor-league system, something they almost certainly would not do. In that case, he would be given his release.

Hillenbrand packed his bags during the game and headed back to his Toronto home a few hours after a bizarre series of events that saw the designated hitter criticize the team’s management. A clubhouse incident before batting practice, that Hillenbrand said was “meant to be humourous and fun for teammates” and involved other players besides him, led to Gibbons ripping him in a closed-door clubhouse meeting afterwards.

When the game began, Hillenbrand remained in the clubhouse and refused to head into the dugout. Gibbons later entered the clubhouse during the game and informed him that he was being designated.

Well, that seemingly came out of nowhere.

The Padres released Vinny Castilla earlier today so perhaps that'd be a good fit. The Angels always seem to be interested in Hillenbrand as well so that's another possibility. But at this point Hillenbrand's trade value can't be too significant. If the Jays want a good prospect they'll probably have to eat most of Hillenbrand's remaining salary. If they want a team to pick up his whole salary they're not likely to get anything more than a C prospect.

The Aubrey Huff trade to Houston is probably a good example of what the Jays may be able to get. In that trade the Astros gave up a couple of AA players - one a pitcher whose upside is a 4-5 starter and a SS that projects as a utility player. The Devil Rays also included a portion of Huff's salary in the trade.