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Short is a big issue for 2010.  Scutaro cannot be counted on we'd have to assume (the Jays would do full medicals to know a lot better than us I hope) so what do they do?

A strong #1 or #2 shortstop is needed.  With this staff it has to be a league average or better defensive one too (ala Scutaro & McDonald) but ideally also an offensive force (as good or better than Scutaro in 2009).

Checking Fangraphs I found there were 6 SS's in the majors with 300+PA and an 800+ OPS.  Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Jason Bartlett, Derek Jeter, Juan Uribe and Yunel Escobar.  Another 5 were in the 750-799 range - Asdrubal Cabrera, Miguel Tejada, Maicer Izturis, Marco Scutaro, and Erick Aybar.  

For guys with 300+ innings in the field we had 3 with a UZR/150 over 10 - Paul Janish, Jack Wilson, and Brendan Ryan.  4 more were over 8 - Adam Everett, Cesar Izturis, Alex Gonzalez, and Elvis Andrus.  7 more over 5 - Rafael Furcal, Jhonny Peralta, Erick Aybar, J.J. Hardy, Nick Green, Robert Andino and Derek Jeter (!).  Ryan Theriot was the only one in the 4's, Nick Punto in the 3's, Stephen Drew, Alexei Ramirez, and Jimmy Rollins in the 2's, and just over average (between 0 and .3) were Troy Tulowitzki, Marco Scutaro and Hanley Ramirez.

I'd say that 2nd list (300+ innings and UZR that was positive) is the list the Jays have to stick to.  Especially with the outfield we're looking at :P

So, which of those guys is temping and available?  Not too much crossover between the lists - just Jeter (yeah right), Scutaro (we know who he is), Tulowitzki (sigh), and Hanley Ramirez (he is in line for 10:$7M, 11:$11M, 12:$15M, 13:$15.5M, 14:$16M and is the only Marlin with a significant contract past this season).

If the Jays are really, really, really wanting to do something big they'd find a way to take Ramirez from Florida - it would take a boatload of prospects but they always seem to be cutting payroll and if the Jays can take that on short would be set for the rest of the 2010-2014 window that JP was setting up earlier (Hill & Wells signed for that period).  However, you'd be looking at draining the farm and even then Florida might not go for it (I'm talking a package starting with Cecil, Rzep, and another high level prospect then some more added in and they still might demand Snider as well).  It is a pipe dream, but it is fun to think about.

More realistically guys like Jack Wilson, Adam Everett, Peralta, Hardy are who the Jays have as possibilities depending on what risks (healthy, salary, lack of bat, etc.) they want to take on.

So, how does everyone else feel on this issue?  Any names I skipped that should be part of the discussion?
Shortstop for 2010 - what to do? | 33 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Ducey - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#207662) #

On September 21 it was reported on Sportsnet:

General manager J.P. Ricciardi said the injury isn't career-threatening and shouldn't need surgery to fix, although it will "probably" end what has been a career year for the 33-year-old.

Has something changed?  Shouldn't he be okay in 5 months?

Offer him arbitration, see what happens with Doc, and then go from there.  If they trade Doc, then I think they should try and get some picks for Scutaro and go with a cheap, good D shortstop who has a bit more pop than Sir John A.  That way they can focus on a rebuild without blowing their young pitchers' confidence.

TamRa - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#207664) #
Laying aside pipe dreams...i see three possibilities:

1. Offer Scoot arb and hope that he accepts, or that you can resign him to something short

2. Go get Hardy and hope he turns it around with the bat (which is a decent possibility) - doing this greats an issue concerning who leads off so it needs a concurent move elsewhere..

3. Get a young kid who's blacked like Chin-Lung Hu and hope that he can emerge with an opportunity. This requires extremely good scouting.

If you do none of those you're gonna find yourself taking a flyer on a rebound from Greene or Crosby....or settling for McDonald.

Mike Green - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#207665) #
Hu had a rough season with the bat in the PCL at age 25.   He has taken a step back at triple A the last two years, but if the reports are accurate, he can still contribute with the glove.  It is strange that he has lost significant power in the favourable PCL environment. 
vw_fan17 - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#207667) #
Interesting article saying "moneyball doesn't work"...

Chuck - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#207668) #
Gotta love ol' Buzz, master of the straw man argument.
greenfrog - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#207669) #
Take the draft picks for Scutaro (assuming another team is willing to sign him). The Jays aren't going to contend next year, the farm system is mostly barren, and the team has a great opportunity to catalyze the rebuilding process with a monster draft in 2010. I will be extremely disappointed if AA becomes JP 2.0 by trying to split the difference between rebuilding and contending, which got us into this mess in the first place.

The organization needs to be overhauled. AA may as well face facts and get on with the job right now (actually, I have confidence that he will do this if he's given the necessary autonomy by Rogers).
Mike Green - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#207670) #
Yeah, it's a tired debate.  Of course it helps to have oodles of cash to spend year after year.  The Yankees made the playoffs year after year despite having done little to develop homegrown talent for almost a decade.  It is however boring.  What is more interesting is the clever ways that teams can assemble and manage talent to win without oodles of cash.
John Northey - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#207672) #
Yeah, JP said Scutaro could be ready right away. However, remember the source. Also, Scutaro is very much on the wrong side of 30 and just had a season way beyond what he has done before. To assume he'd be any better than, say, a slightly below league average fielder with an OPS+ in the 80's would be a poor assumption for the team to make. You can hope he keeps up what he did this year, but with few exceptions 33 year olds don't suddenly start producing at a significantly higher level for the rest of their careers. Especially when coming off an injury.

Realistically I'd say the Jays will go for a pure defensive shortstop. JJ Hardy is likely to hit in the 80's as well but is in his prime and is a high level defensive player. Would Milwaukee dump him with just 1 year to free agency? Don't know. Adam Everett recovered with the glove this year but hits like McDonald (60's OPS+). A few others are interesting as well. I figured this was worth a blog entry and wanted to see if others have ideas on who to go for if either A) Scutaro leaves or B) Scutaro stays but McDonald is gone.
92-93 - Friday, October 23 2009 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#207673) #
I'd sign Adam Everett either way.
TamRa - Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 12:28 AM EDT (#207674) #
Would Milwaukee dump him with just 1 year to free agency? Don't know.

Hardy now has 2 years left before free agency due to the time he spent in the minors this year.

It'd be nice if we could find "the next Jason Bartlett" but I'm not optimisitc about sifting through the no-his shortstops hoping for that particular lighting strike.

85bluejay - Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 03:07 AM EDT (#207675) #

I would like a youngster whom the jays can control for many years - Hardy will not only cost a good young pitcher(most lkely), but if he has a

good year then he's only another yr. from FA, so would require significant money - A player I like and who should not cost much is Ivan Dejesus

with furcal ahead of him & Dee Gordon behind, also he's coming off a broken leg - but I would take a chance on him.

I would also try for reid Brignac - but Tampa is a tough trading partner(esp. within the same div.) - actually I would like to see the jays obtain

both Brignac & Matt Joyce from Tampa - I would platoon joyce in Rf with Chris Pettit (angels farmhand)

TimberLee - Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#207678) #

Yep. I think the thing to do - assuming the seeming majority view here of the Jays' direction - is to gather some good-field / unproven hit kids who don't cost much, and choose one in the spring to start in Toronto.

 It seems that the team will have to acquire SOMEONE, and the above route would be better than  gambling on a Crosby / Greene type, or paying a veteran with no future payoff possible.

 I also think that you are correct to raise this SS issue because it is a key in both improving the team on the field and in indicating the thinking of the new GM.

Denoit - Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#207682) #

Angel Sanchez? I don't know alot about him, but untill his unjury in 2007 he was putting up decent numbers. He hit fairly well this year with a decent eye. I would like to see what he could do if given a chance.  Low risk move as long as there's a backup plan if it doesnt work.

Mylegacy - Saturday, October 24 2009 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#207685) #
Unless the Docs (not Roy - the real medical Docs) tell us Scutaro's heel/foot are going to be OK for a full season (in which case I say sign Scoots) I suggest we take two draft choices for the Scooter, sign JMac and bring up Angel for the year - at worse we get JMac - great defense - at best - time will tell.

As to trading the Franchise I say - either it's a blockbuster or we keep the King and eventually the two draft choices. ONLY - we sign those we actually pick!

PeterG - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#207688) #
Like the idea of DeJesus - maybe in a Halladay trade. Cubs have a couple of ss prospects and might be willing to move one - Sterling Castro, Hak-Ju Lee.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#207689) #
On a more general note, I think the Jays could do worse than expand their trade targets to include other teams' high-ceiling, lower level prospects. Under Ricciardi, the Jays always seemed to want MLB-ready players (Hinske, Arnold, Prokopec, Miller, Accardo) but missed out on players like David Wright as a result (if you believe Keith Law). And these days, trying to pry loose prospects like Neftali Feliz or Justin Smoak is next to impossible. The point is to nab players when they're undervalued (i.e., the Marlins' heist of Hanley Ramirez), not when they're overvalued. The Jays need to get off that treadmill.

I think AA should target potentially high-ceiling SS prospects (someone like Aybar a couple of years ago) or good-field types who can bridge the gap until the Jays become a contender. And just say no to players like JJ Hardy, who will command too much in return. The point is to find players who will be a key piece of the puzzle when the Jays are once again on the upswing.
greenfrog - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#207690) #
Actually, I guess Hardy might not be that expensive in terms of prospects, given his poor 2009 (I just checked his latest stats). He might be a decent low-risk play (although he earned $4.65M last year and is arb-eligible in 2010, so the Jays would have to pay quite a bit for his services). But given his age (27) and salary, he's unlikely to be a long-term (or even a medium-term) solution at short.
TamRa - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 02:33 PM EDT (#207691) #
Why wouldn't a 27 year old be at least a medium-range solution? If you trade for him you get at least his age 28 and 29 seasons, and if he bounces back and impresses you in 2010, then say you sign him to a three year extension. That's age 28-31...his prime hears in theory and if 4 years isn't medium range I don't know what would be.

And his arb decision coming off his 2009 performance won't won't go over $5 million. I'd bet that supposed 3 year deal would be something like $24 million at most in all which isn't unrealistic or excessive.

The only drawback to getting Hardy is it re-opens the leadoff question.

It's also worth noting that in his best years he is only an average hitter vs RHP but rakes lefties (IIRC). But an average hitter with plus defense isn't a common thing on the SS market right now.

greenfrog - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 05:09 PM EDT (#207692) #
Willrain: the scenario you've outlined sounds great on paper, but it would require that (1) JJ bounces back and has a good season; (2) that he re-signs with Toronto (if he bounces back, he would presumably be in line for a lucrative free agent contract in 2011). If the Jays do somehow manage to sign him to a multi-year deal, you hope that he doesn't regress again (offensively or defensively) as he moves past his prime, which is usually around age 27 (his current age). Contracts in this age range (Wells, Rios, Ryan) are been a big problem for the Jays in recent years.

I would rather see the Jays focus on developing a larger pool of quality young minor-league talent. Patching the current team with a player like JJ might help keep the team in a certain middling W-L range, but the Jays simply aren't good enough to win in the AL East, even with a resurgent Hardy. The team needs to create a long-term foundation for winning. I think AA gets this, and is going to focus on youth, but it's going to take time.
PeterG - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#207693) #
Hope you are right. Imo, this is the only way.
katman - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#207694) #
My answer: Nothing. Or something very close to that.

Let Scutaro go. Take the draft picks. Use the $4 million (minimum) you'd pay for Scoot to actually sign them. Let JMac go. Throw that money into the draft as well, it will be a busy year due to deferrals. Call up Angel, and play him. If he sucks, oh well, there are other holes to fill. If something better comes to Toronto in trade via a nearly-ready high ceiling prospect, you still play Angel and see if the new kid can take the job away while being eased in.

This team will not compete in the AL East 2010. Doing so demands sub 10% odds level individual years from about 10 different people. Go away and do the math on that one some time. People who think this team should plan as if it's close, need to buy a better brand of paint thinner. Or hire a contractor rather than doing all that painting themselves.

If we were in the AL Central, we'd be having a very, very different conversation here. We aren't, so we're not.
Mylegacy - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#207695) #
I'm the one seriously pissed they didn't bring Angel up in September, I think his numbers warrant a serious look - however - it would be foolhardy to let JMac go and have no proven professional SS in case the kid's not ready or not good.

As to us being a contender - I'm sorry - but I think we are - IF - Roy is back. Our starting pitching is top 20%, our bullpen (now that our starting pitching has at least one of Marcum or McGowan back) is top 20% - AND -

I'm convinced that Hill, Lind, Snider and Ruiz will be a very formidable four power bats and that Wells and Overbay will be nice complementary contributors.

I don't want change - I want improvement. The ONLY black hole is SS (depending on Scutaro). Ironically - if Rolen was back, and healthy, I would be SERIOUSLY excited about this teams 2010 prospects. Alas, that's one Rolen stone we won't have.

I'm going to enjoy watching AA this off season. Sometimes the best way to make your mark is just to go make some snow yellow. It'll be a good winter.

We do have two starting pitchers among Romero, Cecil, Rzepetcetcski, Tallet, Mills, Ray and Richmond that could be dealt. AA have fun!

ramone - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#207696) #

I think people need to simmer down about sanchez, his defense was noted by a few sources as not being very good at all. 

Off topic, butI find it odd that the jays are one of the teams mentioned to be interested in Chapman.  His demands are starting at 60 million, the Jays couldn't pony up about 3 million for 3 top draft picks last year.

greenfrog - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 07:55 PM EDT (#207697) #
I wouldn't be surprised if Scutaro is forced to accept arbitration with the Jays. I have a hard time seeing any team being willing to give up two high picks for him, especially given his career numbers (265/337/384) and recent injury (unless he can demonstrate that he's completely healthy).
John Northey - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 08:25 PM EDT (#207698) #
Aroldis Chapman is one of those guys who you go 'I wonder' with. Has done very well in international play and is viewed as a super-prospect. $10 mil a year for 6 years appears to be the cost of getting him. If he is a 110 ERA+ guy then he is easily worth it, even at 100 or 105 he might be if he eats 200 innings a year. If he drops to 90-95 though... But his potential is in the Halladay range. Now _that_ makes him interesting.

The Jays have been talking about higher budgets, more money to Latin America, and feeling the need for another starting pitcher (we have bulk but few who are viewed as potential #1's). If AA/Rogers want to make a big splash to say 'we are not Bud's wimps anymore' this would certainly be a way of doing it. But... Daisuke was the last big 'best outside of MLB' guy and he's had one decent year, a great year with limited innings, and a disaster at a cost of around $20 mil a year (factoring in the fee Boston paid to negotiate with him).

Hrm. Part of me wants the Jays to go for it, get a top quality prospect without giving up anything but money. Part of me worries it would hamstring their budget even more.
VBF - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 09:34 PM EDT (#207699) #
Correct me if I'm wrong but this season the Jays won't have to give up a first round pick if they sign a Type A free agent. In some strange way, this might be one of the best times to do it, as long as you're signing someone who you project to be here/in their prime when the Jays plan on contending next. Would be a shame to win 83 games next year, sign someone with similar talent and give up a pick for it instead of getting similar talent without giving up a pick.

On top of this, many teams are coming out and saying that they won't be players for big free agents (Mets, Indians). Attendance is down and last year was a buyers market on premonition that revenues would be down. Now it's confirmed--I think there could be some very good deals even through trade. I think some teams would be happy to eat some contract just to rid themselves of as much commitment as possible.
Chuck - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#207700) #
The trouble with most free agents is that they have at least six years under their belt, meaning they are likely 29 or older. So it's hard to look at free agents with an eye to the future.
Petey Baseball - Sunday, October 25 2009 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#207701) #
Wonder what it would take to wrest Joakim Soria and/or David DeJesus away from the Royals?

I'd offer Snider,Zep and one of Arencibia or Jerolomen for the two of them.

Mylegacy - Monday, October 26 2009 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#207702) #
Since we're playing WTF - how about: We need a SS and 3rd - so we trade Roy in a multi team trade. Some team gets Roy for Player A and Player B - we send Player A to Team C for SS X and Player B to Team D for 3rd E.

We get two young seasoned stars at SS and 3rd and we make do with a rotation of five of: Romero (L), Marcum (R), Rzealphebetsoupski (L), McGowan (R), Mills (L), Ray (R), Cecil (L), Richmond (R) and Tallet (L).

So the new SS (R) leads off,  1st Overbay (L) bats second, 2nd Hill (R) bats third, LF Lind (L) bats fourth, DH Ruiz (R) bats 5th, RF Snider (L) bats 6th, new 3rd (R) bats 7th, CF Wells (R) bats 8th and C Barajas (R) bats ninth.

OK AA - go do it!

Mylegacy - Monday, October 26 2009 @ 12:36 AM EDT (#207703) #
Did I ever tell anyone how much I HATE the freakin' Yankees?
92-93 - Monday, October 26 2009 @ 05:27 AM EDT (#207704) #
The Mets could work out a package for Doc using Reyes, and people in NY have really tired on him. You'd save several million and pick up a year of control.
brent - Monday, October 26 2009 @ 05:44 AM EDT (#207705) #
The Mets would have to throw in more because of Reyes' problems.
ayjackson - Sunday, November 01 2009 @ 09:44 AM EST (#207942) #
Sanchez ended the season injured, so I'm not sure if calling him up was ever an option.  On top of that, a September call-up was not going to tell the Jays whether or not Sanchez could be the starting SS next year.  He's already likely proven that he could handle a back up position for an established starter, based on his minor league career.
Shortstop for 2010 - what to do? | 33 comments | Create New Account
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