Blue Jays Notes: Overbay, Encarnacion, Bautista

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos met with reporters for an extended media session today, speaking about a wide range of topics.'s Jordan Bastian brings us the highlights…

  • Anthopoulos acknowledged Lyle Overbay's strong finish to the season, but the team's approach for first base is unchanged. They will explore trades and the free agent market with no guarantee that Overbay will return. 
  • Aaron Hill offered to change positions (third base) if it will help the team. The Jays have until Opening Day of next season to make a decision on the 2012 ($8MM), 2013 ($8MM), and 2014 ($10MM) options in Hill's contract. If they wait until after next season, the 2014 option is voided.
  • There is a chance that Edwin Encarnacion will be non-tendered given the raise he's likely to receive through arbitration. Encarnacion earned $4.75MM in 2010 and will be arb eligible for the final time before free agency.
  • The Jays are prepared to go to arbitration with 54 HR man Jose Bautista. He earned $2.4MM this year and his salary is likely to jump into the $7-9MM range after his monster season. Bastian doesn't think the two sides will work out a long-term deal this winter.
  • Fred Lewis was unhappy when his playing time diminished late in the season. If he's not in the team's plans as a bench player next year, a non-tender could be in order.
  • Even with Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs, and Jason Frasor all eligible to become free agents in a few weeks, Anthopoulos doesn't consider having veterans in the bullpen a top priority.
  • He'd like to add more balance to a lineup that relied primarily on the long ball this season. The Jays led MLB by a large margin with 257 homers, but they finished just ninth with 755 runs scored because of a pedestrian .312 OBP.
  • The possibility of keeping catcher John Buck will be explored, but Anthopoulos said he's earned a long-term deal and a starting job, something that might not work with top prospect J.P. Arencibia having nothing left to prove in the minors.
  • The Blue Jays are not operating with a specific payroll; the GM has the ability to adjust the finances as he sees fit. That gives them more flexibility when looking at free agent and trade scenarios.
  • There are no more front office hirings in the immediate future, but one thing they're considering is someone with more of a computer and statistical analysis background. 
  • Shi Davidi of The Canadian Press adds that Anthopoulos acknowledged the inherent riskiness of trades, but he still considers it the best way to improve the team and is willing to deal prospects for established big leaguers (Twitter links). 

69 Responses to Blue Jays Notes: Overbay, Encarnacion, Bautista Leave a Reply

  1. sundancekid2 5 years ago

    Anyone think the Brewers would bring back Overbay to play first when Prince leaves?

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      maybe. Interesting idea, but if he is healthy, I think Mat Gamel would be a better fit.

      • sundancekid2 5 years ago

        Getting the feeling that Gamel is AAAA player.

    • Overbay is best suited as a left-handed platooning 1 bagger. His defense is solid but 1 baggers have to hit… Facts are facts….

    • Overbay is best suited as a left-handed platooning 1 bagger. His defense is solid but 1 baggers have to hit… Facts are facts….

  2. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    We really need to continue preaching pitching and defense. If AA could turn the Swinging Jays in to the fielding and running Jays, things would be really nice.

    It’s going to be a big off-season for the Jays and it’s going to be exciting. If he is non-tendered, I think Edwin Encarnacion would be a fine fit for the Royals for the first 2-3 months of the season at 3B and then move to DH or get traded if his value is high enough.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      That’s what AA has been saying. He wants defense, pitching and guys who will get on base and make things happen which is why he took a huge risk getting Gose.

      I think Lewis and E5 are gone along with Accardo. Things have really soured between him and the organization.

      Buck is gone because he wants full-time starting job which he will not get with Arencibia who has caught some pretty good games his last few times. Gregg will likely see multi-year deal on the open market. He got 2.75 after a disappointing season so there is no reason to think he can get more even if it is for 1-2 years. Personally, I think Downs is gone because there are so many teams that will be looking to upgrade their pen that Downs would be a huge addition. Frasor is likely to come back.

      I think they should sign Bautista to a 3 year deal with a club option. Perhaps something like 2yr/20 with a 15 mil club option or 1 mil buyout. Reasoning for Bautista doing it would be he gets security which I don’t think he would mind and considering his track record, it may be a good idea. Jays get him on a pretty sweet deal even if he regresses to 30 hr/80-90 RBI production.

      Hopefully we can pick up someone that can get on base often and steal (meaning lead-off) because that’s one thing this team is badly lacking. I mean jeez, our OBP is .312 lol.

      And here is hoping AA has another good off-season and finds a great manager. Looking forward to next season!

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        Yeah, this may sound crazy, but I say two things.

        Gregg gets his two year option picked up.

        And Chris Young is a Blue Jay by Opening Day ’11.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

          Though having Chris Young would be beastly, doesn’t the Jays trading for a guy who’s value is at it’s high point seem odd? Not to mention that the D-Backs are rebuilding so the Jays would have to ante up quite a bit.

          • The Jays, or any other team, don’t have to trade for Chris Young. Padres aren’t poing to pick up his option, so he will become a free agent this winter…….That said, I don’t think AA is going to go after him, Drabek has first dibs as #5 starter

            edit: I was under the impression Spandemonium was talking about Chris Young the pitcher…..maybe I was wrong

  3. Or: How about the Jays pull the ol’ non-tender and resign with Encarnacion? it worked with Bautista last year, and maybe EE could be next year’s Bautista

  4. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    Jays need to pick up a legit leadoff hitter and another .300 ave, .350 obp guy for their offense to be more consistent. One solid starter to slide into the 2-3spot in rotation. The bullpen is a mess, so they need at least a closer and 2 solid set up guys. All of these changes may be a pipe dream to happen in 1 off season, but its doable. Perhaps they can get Seattle to each a good chunk of change and the Jays can pick up Figgins to play 3b and leadoff (Bautista to of). A Jorge De La Rosa type pitcher would be good for the rotation, though I’d want one with a better health history.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      We don’t need a pitcher and Figgins is quite a horrible idea.

      I would move Bautista to 3rd, Wells to RF and look for a center fielder that can lead off. I think it’s more common to find a CF lead off than a 3rd base (don’t think there are any).

      Bullpen – meh. I would look to fill other positions first. It’s not hard at all to find bullpen guys and a lot of them can be inconsistent. They can be great one year and crap the next so year so I wouldn’t put too much into bullpen and closers is one of the most overrated positions in baseball IMO.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

        If it makes sense, have Escobar lead off, sign Crawford or trade for a 4 or 5-tool OFer if possible and have him bat 2nd. Your OF is pickup-Wells-Snider and have Bautista at 3rd. As for the bullpen, I think Kerry Wood should be an option to at least consider signing. If Rich Harden is willing to work out of the ‘pen to preserve his glass arm, that’s another possible option.

        • Sniderlover 5 years ago

          I would be fine with Escobar leading off only if the guy behind him could get on base and steal.

          Crawford would be such a perfect fit here but ughhhhhh the money he is going to demand is going to be insane and well let’s face it, why would he come here?

          I think BJ Upton and Ellsbury can be good options if they are willing to trade them. Upton has all the tools but I hate his attitude and his work ethic but like I said, he’s got all the tools.

          BTW, we could also have some pretty good internal bullpen options in guys like Shawn Hill, Zep. Zep finished strong towards the end giving us optimism and Hill was pretty solid in the starts he had and considering his arm troubles, it may not be a bad option to put him in the pen.

          Zep goes to pen if Drabek gets that 5th spot.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

            Everything you stated is correct. I’d love Upton in a Jays uniform strictly based on ability, but he’s a better fit for the Cubs to go along with the rest of their headcases. As for Crawford, yeah I can’t see that happening, but you never know.

            The Jays need a righty RP who can throw hard. Perhaps AA can swindle for Henry Rodriguez (A’s)? If he could harness his fastball, he’d be lights-out.

          • jeffdg 5 years ago


          • Mick_In_Ithaca 5 years ago

            There’s been talk about Rasmus (Wilner) and I know he and La Russa have some issues, but I can’t see why the Cards would trade a 24 year old star CF. What do they need so badly that we have? Would the price be exorbitant? Would you trade Drabek for him?

            That said, I’d love to have him. But that would mean moving Wells to LF (preferably), Snider to RF and Bautista to 3B. If it took Drabek, I’d be uncomfortable, but might do it anyway.

          • The_Porcupine 5 years ago

            Crawford is a pipe dream and I think the Rays would probably want way too much for a head case like Upton. Ellsbury might be viable, but how much would Boston want for him? I think people have a tendency to hype him up too much.

            I have to disagree with your optimism for the bullpen though. I’m not sure Hill has ever made it through the season healthy in the majors, though a bullpen role might ease his ails. And I’ve never held Zep in that high a regard. I’m not overly familiar with the free agents available, but I’d be looking to spend 2-3 million on 2 experienced bullpen arms and then look towards a lower salary closer (like Gregg actually).

      • The_Porcupine 5 years ago

        I think you are sellilng the Figgins idea short. Yes he had a bad year (who didn’t in Seattle). His career OBP is .360 and the 3 years prior to Seattle has OBP’s of .390, .360, .390. As a team, the Jays had a .312 OBP and no Jay other than Batista had an OBP above .340 (which was Figgins OBP last year, in a bad year). His defense at third has been considered to be above average also (though I’m not into the new age defensive metrics, so I have no proof).

        Considering the Jays need for a legit leadoff hitter and someone who can get on base, I think Figgins is a viable option. I wouldn’t trade for him at his current salary, but if the Mariners kicked in a couple million for each year left on his deal, I’d consider it.

        Regarding their rotation, you’re right, they don’t need a starter as I was forgetting Drabek.

        While I agree closers are as a whole overvalued, I have no faith in any arm that will be left for the bullpen after Downs, Gregg, and Frasor are gone. Camp and Janssen are the best of the lot. So I don’t think you put the bullpen too far down on the list of priorities. I’m not suggesting that they go and brake the bank on a top closer like Soriano (the Jays did that once before with Ryan and regretted it), but they do need to get 2-3 arms to stabilize the pen. That will allow the mess of other pitchers to sort themselves out.

  5. baseballz 5 years ago

    Do people really expect the Jays to look for any free agent pitchers this offseason ? To my mind our rotation is looking pretty full and quite competent. AA please don’t sign any A-Type free agents thats all im asking !!!

    • I think the key thing is, don’t sign exactly one type A free agent. If you sign two the second one’s a bargain because he doesn’t cost a first round pick (and the third one’s even better).

  6. I don’t know if I’m in the minority here, but I hope Bautista is TRADED and NOT a Blue Jay in 2011. he’s going to get his money in arbitration and then you can trade him while his value is high.
    16 was his career high HR per season coming into this season, 16!
    signing him to a long term contract could turn out to be TERRIBLE! I wouldn’t want him guaranteed long term for a lot of money based on a huge increase for 1 season. he’s turning 30 this month, not like he’s in his 20’s anymore.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      It’s not just you. If someone gives us a great offer, then I would be all for it. If not, you keep him which is exactly the same situation it was at the deadline.

  7. I would still like to see Fred Lewis in LF and batting leadoff. Lewis at leadoff with Escobar 2nd. 2 guys with good OBP.

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      Lewis looks like he has good OBP because of the team he plays for. He was a good stop gap but that is all he is. I hate his defense and I’m not a fan of his attitude either. His base running is poor and he doesn’t steal enough, strikes out way too much for a guy with little power and even his OBP was like .330. That is not good enough for a leadoff.

    • johnsilver 5 years ago

      As a Fish Fan, plus probably because SF won’t tender him a contract after the post season, maybe take a look at Cody Ross, who can play every OF position and get him out of dead power stadiums, like he has been plagued at all of his career and you just may see his power blossom.

      he is a team leader, who his teamates admire and respect also and can pretty much write down SF won’t be tendering him after making 4.5M this season.

    • FriedCalamari 5 years ago

      on a team that wants to contend.. i don’t think lewis is a 4th outfielder.. dewayne wise ans his D and decent bat showing would be a good choice for the jays imo. The jays got him to fill-in during the seasons and he did so admirably but i don’t think he’s in the jays plan for next year.

  8. tomymogo 5 years ago

    If you look at the numbers the Bluejays put up great numbers, apart from OBP off course.

    I think someone like Jorge Cantu would be a good fit because he is good vs lefties and the Jays could platoon Lind and Cantu at 1B.

    Sign Johnny Damon to be the DH
    Sign Orlando Hudson to be 2B, move Aaron Hill to 3B.
    And sign Jake Westbrook

    All of them cheap and will improve the ball club

    • HerbertAnchovy 5 years ago

      Yuck. Just yuck to all those ideas.

      • tomymogo 5 years ago

        think about it…….Johnny Damon is a great OBP guy, O-dog is better than Encarnacion and the defense is awesome, and Westbrook would be a great 5th starter……It’s not like the Jays need pop, they need OBP and a pitcher….And they’ll have enough money for some quality relievers, maybe Rafael Soriano and resign Scott Downs.DH Johnny DamonSS Yunel EscobarRF Jose BautistaCF Vernon Wells1B Adam Lind/Jorge Cantu3B Aaron HillC JP Arencibia
        LF Travis Snider
        2B Orlando Hudsonthat’s a quality lineup

    • Sniderlover 5 years ago

      Would be cool to have O-dog back but really, I’ll pass on those options.

  9. gs01 5 years ago

    Fred Lewis k’s way too much for a guy with hardly any power, he’s like a want to be power hitter he just can’t make contact enough, I think he’s a 4th outfielder at best.

    • His throwing arm isn’t good enough for him to have any value as a 4th OF, he wouldn’t be able to play Right, or Centre very well.

  10. Kosherguy 5 years ago

    Bautista needs to be resigned. The guys fundamentals are sound, he is a 5 tool player, has a great clubhouse presence and is a role model for the many young Latino’s the Jays have. Even when his numbers come back to earth, you still can’t get a better all around guy and most importantly, he was fun to watch (when you could actually see him – Thanks Rogers.)

    • johnsmith4 5 years ago

      I still say trade him for a homerun hitter.


        • johnsmith4 5 years ago

          No…I loved watching him…just making a point…if you trade him…you will have to find a way to replace his homeruns.

      • Sniderlover 5 years ago

        I fully expect him to regress but he can still be a 25-35 HR hitter.

        • FriedCalamari 5 years ago

          Agreed. I think most level-headed Jays fan don’t expect him to repeat his 54 HR. I still expect good power coming from Bautista next season though. If he magically repeats this years numbers then that’s great, but I doubt it. I’ll take the 25-35HR, with good D, good clubhouse guy for the 7-9mil he may earn in arb anyday.

        • i know he’s going to regress next year. big deal.

  11. I’m really glad that the people on this page are not in any way effective in the decisions being made regarding the personnel of the organization.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      here here, a lot of crapola on this posts. . If i’m AA, i’m looking first and foremost for a infield lead off hitter. . and pretty much leave the team alone after that.

      I would poach the orioles for brian roberts, bring him in, bat him first. Give the Orioles, a few arms and a prospect. Move Hill to 3rd, and get murphy to fix his long swing to a shorter, more compact swing to help him get his obp up.

      Roberts (2B)
      Escobar (ss)
      Lind (1b)
      Bautista (rf)
      Wells (C)
      Snider (lf)
      EE (DH)
      Hill (3B)
      Arencibia (C)

      I think because of his fielding, everyone is so quick to dismiss EE, realistically he has a higher career ops then aaron hill, and had one of the top slg this injury riddled season. I’d bring him back to DH, i don’t think he’s going to hit 50 HR’s as someone has posted, but with 550 AB’s its perfectly reasonable to think he can get 30, while keeping his throwing errors on the bench, not too shabby at all.

      • The_Porcupine 5 years ago

        While Roberts fits perfectly, the O’s would never trade him. He’s one of Angelos’s golden boys.

      • I never said he would hit 50. The point that I was making is that he could become a great value signing by non-tendering him and bringing him back to DH, or even play 1B (He has good range and a good glove, his arm is what made him E5)

        a 1 year deal at $2-4 mill would be an acceptable risk to take on a player with upside.

      • crashcameron 5 years ago

        brian roberts of three years ago, yes
        but he’s got $30M left and seems to be breaking down

        • moonraker45 5 years ago

          always be skeptical of what looks like regression, from a good player on a bad team.

      • crashcameron 5 years ago

        brian roberts of three years ago, yes
        but he’s got $30M left and seems to be breaking down

  12. Bluejay12_SVK 5 years ago

    I like that idea with E5 at DH but there is a big question about his health.
    Bautista – I expect 32-35 HR and 85-95 RBI from him. I like him for his attitude and work ethic
    Bullpen – I like to see 2 middle tier FA signings.
    Rotation – This is pretty clear if all guys can stay healthy. “Big 4″ + Drabek.
    Position players FA – What about Bill Hall at 3B?

    1B- Lind
    3B Hall
    SS- Escobar
    LF- Snider
    RF- Bautista

  13. mt99808 5 years ago

    Trade whatever it takes for Adrian Gonzalez, bring back Downs & E5.

    Instant contender in the East.

    • The fact that you called Encarnacion E5 suggests that you know he doesn’t belong on the team. Moving Bautista to 3B means you can go after an OF who provides much more overall value than E5 does. Unfortunately the best two names (Crawford and Werth) are free agents, and in the same interview where he said he had the ability to increase the payroll AA said he doesn’t want to sign high-priced free agents, which is the thing you use increasing the payroll for.

  14. SneakyLongBalls 5 years ago

    I think the Jays call up the Mets and say “So…….David Wright, what will it take to bring his talents to north of the border” (It might cost us Drabek though)
    Sign a veteran like Derrek Lee at 1B/DH
    C: JPA/Molina maybe Buck
    1B: Lee/Lind
    2ND: Hill
    SS: Escobar
    3B: Wright
    OF: Wells, Bautista, Snider
    DH: Lind/Lee

  15. Encarnacion has to go. what power he has doesn’t make up for everything else. his AVG/OBP are weak
    Bautista is going to regress, but I think he is going to be closer to 20 HR than 30+. the R/RBI will depend on the hitters around him. whatever power numbers he does have, the AVG will not be very good. he had .260 AVG this season career high, but his next highest was .254 AVG in 2007 and next after that .242 AVG with Pittsburgh in 2008 before coming to Toronto. .250- AVG with 20+ HR is not that good.
    maybe one possible trade the Jays could look at is with San Diego. they have a young 3B Chase Headley.
    his overall numbers are not all that impressive .264/.327/.375/.702/ 11 HR, but he has hit better away from PETCO.
    10 road- .285/.345/.409/.753/
    09 road- .305/.377/.426/.803/
    08 road- .301/.361/.470/.831/
    this is a guy who could break out somewhere else.
    he is only 26 years old and not yet arbitration eligible.
    the Padres should be looking for someone capable of high offensive production to win now, and maybe are getting tired of waiting for Headley to reach the hype he had.

    • This is a solid, under-the-radar type move that I could really see happening. I actually didn’t realize that Headley was so young. I’d have to wonder what it would take to get him though? The Padres have enough pitching, and pitching prospects, so I’m having a hard time seeing a fit trade-wise.

      • I don’t know if it would be one for one or other players involved, but Bautista would be someone going to the Padres. to me it all starts with trading away Bautista and what the Jays can get. I guess the biggest need would be replacement at 3B.what Bautista did this season was great, but you can’t ignore what he did in previous seasons. he has been a bench player for a reason. I know it does happen, but it’s not very often a player improves like this at the age of 29. if Bautista was in his mid 20’s I might buy it more, but hes 29 soon to be 30.

        • Werth, Ibanez to a lesser extent didn’t get regular AB’s till the other side of the 30. Sure 50+ is pretty extreme but I can see him being a legitimate 60 power hitter….

        • Werth, Ibanez to a lesser extent didn’t get regular AB’s till the other side of the 30. Sure 50+ is pretty extreme but I can see him being a legitimate 60 power hitter….

  16. I’d just like to point out the irony of using ‘pedestrian’ to describe the OBP of a team that doesn’t walk.

  17. ellisburks 5 years ago

    But at least he did that for the Yankees! :-)

  18. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Given the fact that he has done it once does imply that he could do it again. MLB has proven that nothing is impossible.

  19. EVERYONE would have said the same thing about Bautista. there isn’t anyone who could have predicted 50+ for Bautista. even predicting 30+ this season for Bautista would have been a stretch.
    Encarnacion has a better chance at doing it in 2011 than Bautista did in 2011. at least Encarnacion has had good power seasons before.

  20. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Never did I imply that Encarnacion can hit 50 home runs. All I implied is if Bautista did it once, he can do it again. But after reading your comment over again, I now understand that yer point was based off EE never hitting 50. He has the power, but not enough plate discipline or consistancy as of yet.

  21. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    Yeah but you can’t still go around thinking E5 can hit 50 just because Bautista hit 50. I mean it’s not like Bautista just happened to hit 50 out of nowhere without making a significant change. He changed his swing and started getting ready earlier not to mention full playing time. Which is what he got last September and hit 10 homeruns so it’s not like it came completely out of nowhere, he was showing signs of it last season and the swing he changed has made a major impact.

    E5 has power but it’s so inconsistent. For god sake, he hit 10 homeruns just from 2 series and was pretty invisible for the rest of season.

    It’s really the only thing E5 can do, hit occasional homeruns and that is all. He hits for a poor average, can’t get on base, strikes out a lot, can’t play defense obviously, can’t run, play inconsistent. There really isn’t anything about his game to like other than the occasional homerun and I don’t think he’ll ever hit 50 or even come close.

    He is a non-tender for me.

  22. johnsmith4 5 years ago

    ew…I didn’t predict 30 for Bautista…But, It thought it was possible given his September in the previous and hitting 16 when he was 25…I thought it was weird he never hit more homeruns after that season. Thought most likely 20+ and probably 25+ and maybe 30+…but…never 50+

    If we trade Bautista, may I suggest trading him for a homerun hitter with high OBP so we have a number 3 hitter.

  23. Bautista is inconsistent too. he had career highs in so many categories, and not just from regular playing time.
    he had career high .260 AVG. he had .237 AVG in 1st half and .287 AVG in 2nd half. he also had .232 AVG this September.
    he was terrible in June with .197 AVG and only 4 HR, but then raked in July with .347 AVG and 11 HR.
    he was bad vs LH pitching with .222 AVG.
    he was great with OBP with .378 OBP on the season with 100 BB, but you tend to get walked more when you have flukish power during a season.
    Bautista may have changed his swing, but that doesn’t mean he is sure to continue what he has done or that pitchers can’t make the adjustment on him.
    I would consider Bautista a risk going into 2011.

  24. Encarnacion's Parrot 5 years ago

    Bautista may have changed his swing, but that doesn’t mean he is sure to continue what he has done or that pitchers can’t make the adjustment on him.

    They did make the adjustment. First they started throwing soft stuff and he mashed. Then they threw soft-away, he laid off. They tried hard-in and he yanked one foul literally out of the Rogers Center. Though there’s no statistic to prove it, if his mechanic changes really allowed him to take off there’s no reason why he can’t OPS .900+ again in 2011, but I too am skeptical on that actually happening.

    The Jays should give him arbitration and see if he can put up good numbers again. If so, trade him in July or give an extension. If not, then you only have him for that one season. Not like the Jays have financial issues.

  25. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    He was leading off for like a month and his numbers were absoulutely piss poor. He couldn’t hit at all, I don’t think he even hit more than 3-4 homers in April if any at all which is why his average wasn’t that great in the first half. Besides, every batter have great months and bad months. I don’t think you can give me one batter who consistent throughout. As for his OBP, hardly has anything to do with his power. He’s always had a great eye at the plate and he’s laying off outside pitches and forcing pitchers to come inside. And I never said Bautista will continue this… In fact, I expect him to regress, maybe not to his former shell but perhaps 30/80-90 RBI guy which would still be solid. Pitchers did make an adjustment to him in September. They were all pitching outside or trying to throw change-ups as much as possible which is his biggest weakness but he still managed to crush those mistake pitches.

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