With the knowledge that the Jays have limited funds to work with as well as some guys in the minors that deserve a chance to prove themselves, the following is a short list of what I'd like to see Alex and the Jays pick up this FA season:
1- Catcher: Ivan Rodriguez
Sure, Ivan's bat isn't what it used to be. but this future hall of fame player is possibly one of the top 3 catchers who ever played the game. Not only would this be the perfect tutor for JP Arencibia, but it would also help the pitching staff since they're mostly young guns who need some leadership to mature into stars. He was still able to hit 10 HR last season and knows he needs to split time to remain effective and healthy.
2 - First Base: Chad Tracy or Hank Blalock
Both of these guys have had some health issues, but both offer some great upside and should come at a slight discount due to injury woes. Both can also be used at 3B if Edwin's performance lags - or if he is subsequently traded. Tracy and Blalock offer experience, average D, and both are right around 30 years old leaving plenty of room for them to play at a high level. Both also offer more pop in their bats than Overbay, and they could be pushed to perform by Brian Dopirak who is ready to see some MLB time in 2010.
3 - Short Stop: Alex Gonzalez
With Marco Scutaro netting the Jays 2 high draft picks due to being a type A FA, there's no way they can think of re-signing him. The same holds true for Miguel Tejada and Orlando Cabrera who are Type A FAs and would cost the Jays too much in terms of draft picks. Therefore, the only option is to go for one of Alex Gonzalez, Khalil Greene, Adam Everett, or Nick Green. I feel like Alex offers the best value here, although using Brad Emaus who can be promoted from the minors at 2B and shifting Hill to SS is also an option (a very unlikely and risky one).
4 - RP - LHP Joe Beimel
Although the Jays have a generally good pen, they could use some experience and leadership, and also could use a lefty. Joe is the best on the market but always provides great value and would be a definite important asset for Cito in 2010. With Accardo on his way out since he felt chided last year by management, the Jays need a boost in the pen.
Carlos Delgado, Vladimir Guerrero, Jermaine Dye, Mike Cameron
While none of these are likely to be picked up by the Jays, except Delgado if he accepts a big discount, they would go a long way to making the Jays more competitive in 2010. The Jays need more pop and could use a better CFer than Wells in Cameron. However, the Jays will most likely go the cheap route and promote from within. It wouldn't be surprising to see Johermyn Chavez or Moises Sierra in the bigs at some point next year to drive the point across that youngsters will be given a bigger role for the Jays going forward.
If I got my wish in terms of FAs acquired, the 2010 would look as follows: (reserves at each position in brackets)
C - Ivan Rodriguez (JP Arencibia)
1B - Hank Blalock or Chad Tracy (Brian Dopirak, Randy Ruiz)
2B - Aaron Hill (Brad Emaus)
SS - Alex Gonzalez (John Macdonald, Brad Emaus)
3B - Edwin Encarnacion (Hank Blalock or Chad Tracy, Brad Emaus)
LF - Adam Lind (Joe Inglett, Buck Coats)
CF - Vernon Wells (Joe Inglett, Buck Coats)
RF - Travis Snider (Joe Inglett, Buck Coats)
DH - Randy Ruiz (Brian Dopirak)
SP - (whoever takes Roy's spot - or Roy Halladay)
SP - Bret Cecil
SP - Marc Rzepcinsky
SP - Ricky Romero
SP - Scott Richmond / Shaun Marcum
RP - Jason Frasor
RP - Scott Downs
RP - Brandon League
RP - Joe Beimel
RP - Brian Tallet
RP - promote Daniel Farquhar
This team would by no means win an AL East pennant, but it would go a long way to making it as competitive as it can be with the budget the Jays have and the talent they have to work with.
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