Who will the Jays add in the OF?

Jordan Bastien reported today that the Jays intend on adding a player to the OF rotation that currently consists of Lind - Wells - Snider. The major statement made in the report is as follows: " If Scutaro accepts, Anthopoulos said he would have playing time in the outfield. Scoot would prefer to stick with shortstop or second base. Toronto will be looking for outfield help this winter, and Anthopoulos said the Jays have not discussed and don't plan on discussing moving Vernon Wells out of center field."

So, where does that leave us?

Current option #1 - Marco Scutaro accepts arbitration, goes through that painstaking process, gets paid and mans left field or right field instead of an IF position. He becomes a super utility player who can also man 3B, 2B, SS when needed. This option is very unlikely to occur because Marco wants to cash in on his amazing season, and who can blame him after all the hard work he's done to make it.

Current Option #2 - Sign a FA outfielder. Since the Jays are not planning on moving Wells at all, they can acquire a left fielder or right fielder. The best options out there that the Jays can afford include guys like Xavier Nady, Reed Johnson, Randy Winn, and Fernando Tatis. Nady and Tatis are both Type B FAs, but neither was offered arbitration. Clearly, Xavier Nady has the most upside and can hit 25+ HRs while driving in a ton of runs, but may opt for a better option than the rebuilding Jays, unless he feels like he'll get more playing time and exposure in Toronto than he would elsewhere. If he does well, as Marco did this year, he gets paid. I'd love to see the Jays sign Nady to a 1 year deal and see how it goes. He might cost a bit more than the others, but should be able to give you a lot more as well. That is, if he pans out when doctors look at that shotty elbow.

Current Option #3 - Make sure that when we deal Lyle Overbay or Roy Halladay, we get an MLB outfielder in return as part of the package. The possibilities here are endless, but if the Jays can find a catcher on the FA market, adding an outfielder may become their priority in Lyle Overbay trade talks. Would an Overbay for Felix Pie deal be worthwhile? Just a thought.

Current Option #4 - Promote from within and hope for the best. What could be better than remodeling the Blue Jays by adding youth, instead of recycling some oldies. And no, I'm not speaking of guys in AAA like Jason Lane or David Dellucci. Nor am I mentioning Joe Inglett or other infielders thrown out there as patchwork. I'm talking about CF Darin Mastroianni (pictured above). Darin will be 25 in 2010. He played in HiA and AA last season and had 70 SBs between the 2 levels. His OBP was outstanding at .398 overall, and he walked almost as often and he struck out (76/83). He kept up this performance in the AFL this year, with a .368 OBP, 8 walks and 5 strike outs. He's the kind of guy would could really become a spark plug for our offence, and could potentially become a fixture at the top of the lineup. Sure, skipping AAA altogether without a full season in AA is not done often, but do the Jays really have much to lose in this case? The pressure would be a little heavy, but entering a scenario where the organization is ready for growing pains may be the perfect time to do this kind of thing. He would become a CF in this case, and Wells would rightfully shift to RF or LF, where he belongs.

Personally, I don't mind any of the options since they all have their upside and downside. One thing is for sure however, by making that kind of statement, Alex is admitting that he isn't comfortable with the outfield he currently has - most likely due to their generally limited range and sloth like speed. Alex seems to be emphasizing great D to go along with offence as well as to help his young pitching staff out. Smart man.


  1. What about secret option #5 - Jose Bautista?

    In 84 games in the outfield last year, he posted a decent 3.4 UZR and had 11 outfield assists. He's not cheap at around $2.5 million per year, but at least he would provide some defensive stability in the outfield.

  2. I actually had not considered him because it sounded to me that Alex was not satisfied with what the Jays had last year. If they really do intend on keeping Wells in CF, they need someone with better range in the OF to support him and I'm not sure Bautista has that kind of coverage capacity. He would also, as you mentioned, cost a bit more than 3 of the options I listed above, all except Nady who makes it up in what he gives offensively.

    Bautista may still be an option if they feel he can replace Edwin when needed at 3B, and he does have pop in his bat and is still young at 29....

    Not a bad option #5 Ian, thanks for adding him to the list!

    Forgot to mention that Xavier Nady also spent 2 years at 1B (total of 82 games) and so could fill that role along with Dopirak should he be signed, and Overbay traded.

  3. Sure, they should go for Nady if they can get him for under $3 million a year. He is a low risk/high reward signing that could prove to be very useful if he gets back to his averages which is about 20 HR/70 RBI a season.

  4. Nady should be available on the cheap. He's not sure he'll be ready by opening day. He's had TJ surgery.

  5. I think Ankiel would be a good investment, but I seem to be alone. He struggled with a couple of injuries last year, but he should be fully healed. You have to consider the ability of these players to be flipped at the deadline or turned into a compensatory pick or two at season's end.

  6. Ankiel definitely has the upside and could use a full time job, which is why I guess the Pirates are trying to lure him over there. I'm not sure the Jays could offer him the same unless they made Lind a full time DH and played Bautista occasionally in the OF at best, and more at 3B. He's a good candidate though, thanks Gil!