Blue Jays Open To Bolstering Bench

The Blue Jays just traded away Mike Napoli, but they could re-gain some depth before the season starts. Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos says he's considering ways of bolstering his team's depth.

"We're always looking to add to the bench," Anthopoulos told reporters on a conference call this afternoon. "There's still some players out there that we continue to have talks with."

Free agency is just one avenue for teams to consider. Anthopoulos pointed out that players become available later in the spring, when out of options players hit the waiver wire and others get released. The Blue Jays acquired Fred Lewis last April and are open to making a similar addition this spring.

Jose Molina and John McDonald were fixtures on the Blue Jays' bench last year and they'll be back in 2011. The Blue Jays will have either two or three more bench spots to work with, depending on how many relievers they carry. Could one of those bench jobs go to Vladimir Guerrero? The Blue Jays don't comment publicly on free agent negotiations, but Anthopoulos did say that he intends for Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion to be everyday players in 2011.

73 Responses to Blue Jays Open To Bolstering Bench Leave a Reply

  1. TartanElk 5 years ago

    So then why give up something you’re still looking for, in exchange for something that’s merely a luxury at this point?

  2. Karkat 5 years ago

    “Anthopoulos did say that he intends for Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion to be everyday players in 2011.”

    Pretty sure he was also talking up how great Napoli would be as a complement to Lind and Arencibia. AA is one sly GM, so I don’t think I’ll be buying any of what he says publicly. I’ll let his signings do the talking.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

      news for ya: GMs lie

      • sadp 5 years ago

        I think there’s a difference between lying and saying something that is temporarily true until you change your mind.

  3. coachofall 5 years ago

    If any GM is counting on Rajaii Davis to be an everyday player they better have some adequate depth for the moment they realize how bad he really is and the fact that you are stuck wtih him for 2 years.

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      thats the only thing that concerns me

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

      because the Jays are soooooo gonna compete for the title for the next 2 years?

      i understand that there’s a chance, but its slim and having a good CF or not really won’t change it by a lot

    • It’s not like they owe him 86 million over 4 years. 5.75 million over 2 years is very reasonable for a guy who has stolen 91 bases over the past 2 years and only caught 21 times. It’s not like it’s the type of contract that forces you to play him every single day. If you come about upgrades, then he can easily be pushed into the 4th outfielder/pinch runner role. The Jays have lacked speed on the base paths for a long time now, and this fixes that deficiency.

      • coachofall 5 years ago

        Career stolen base percentage less than 80% isn’t stellar by any means

        • yeah 79% is really all that terrible…. talk about presenting the data to fit your bullshit

          • coachofall 5 years ago

            B.S? Correct me if I’m wrong 79 is less than 80. For a guy who doesn’t get on base very much I wouldn’t be comfortable being thrown out one out of five attempts. He’s a fast 30 year old who is best suited being a 4/5 OF and pinch runner

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

            Do you know what the difference between Davis and Crawford is? 3 SB over 100 attempts. 3. Friggin. Bases.
            also, Davis career OBP = .330 Crawfords = .337

            you sir, are a troll

          • coachofall 5 years ago

            yep, the only difference between CC and Davis is 3 SB…! I’m sure everyone agrees that they are the same player with the exception of those 3 SB. Unreal

          • Wow. You obtuseness regarding the context of the conversation is almost impressive…almost. It is really just annoying.

          • Yes indeed 79 is less than 80. Your ability to determine which value is greater than another is truly astounding. However, I still find it funny how you presented your argument, because the difference between 80% and 79% is insignificant in this case. Oh and by the way Rickey Henderson had a career SB% of 81% but you know he wasn’t a stellar base stealer or anything.

          • coachofall 5 years ago

            enjoy him! He is a 4th OF. You are insulting one of the greatest players in History by mentioning him in the same sentence as Davis

          • Casor_Greener 5 years ago

            Dude give it up, you are looking like a fool

          • First off sentences are separated by periods and no the two aren’t mentioned in the same one. Not that it matters since, Rickey would probably be more insulted by your comment considering all the positive things he has had to say about Rajai, plus all the personal time he has put in working with him. I agree that if Davis maintains a .320 OBP he is no more than a league average centrefielder or an excellent 4th outfielder. If, however, he can get it back up toward .360 he becomes a good to very good centrefielder considering the propensity and success with which he steals bases. Neither you nor I can predict that, we will just have to wait and see what happens in 2011. What I take offense to is the other crap you spew which isn’t valid at all.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

            people think of Crawford as one of the greatest players in history?

            I think he’s a great player, but thats going a bit too far. He’s not Pujols/Halladay/Rodriguez level

          • coachofall 5 years ago

            He was referring to Ricky Henderson (one of the greatest of all time…just ask him) not Crawford in the responded to post

  4. Vlad wouldn’t be a bench player, he’d be full time DH, and a damn good addition to the team, more than adequately replacing Wells (39 non-HR RBI in over 600 PA in 2010). Jays need a stick like his really badly if they wanna take a run, and Vlad could make the diff. I am sure they are talking, just a matter of contract details, it just makes so much sense.

  5. mike292929 5 years ago

    I would love to see Vlad back in Canada.

  6. $1545094 5 years ago

    Napoli was more of C/DH. he only played 1B with LA because Morales was hurt. Lind has yet to play 1B, but he should be a regular and not someone splitting time.
    the Jays could also still sign someone like Vlad, who would be better than Napoli.
    Napoli was more of a luxury than what Fransisco is. Dotel/Rauch/Frasor do have closing experience, but Fransisco is better. also gives the Jays the option of trading Frasor.
    there are also still multiple decent free agents available, that I’m sure would come really cheap to sign.

    • Lunchbox45 5 years ago

      Lind has already gone down and worked on his footwork and stuff… clearly the feeling around the club is that he can handle the position, or else trading napoli never would have happened

  7. grant77 5 years ago

    Is it just me or are there no realistic options for Vlad outside of Toronto and maybe an uninterested Baltimore?

  8. gorlak357 5 years ago

    Vlad will only become a jay if he accepts a limited role, which I don’t think he will. The Idea that AA is looking for a big bat is pure speculation as he hasn’t even hinted towards that need.

    • okbluejays 5 years ago

      EE should have the limited role, or he could go back to 3B, which won’t help the Jays defense at all. Then again we don’t even know how well EE will be at 1B, and I don’t want him as our full-time DH to be honest.

      • gorlak357 5 years ago

        EE will most likely be a full time player at DH and their is no problem with that. I would prefer somebody with upside like EE.

        • okbluejays 5 years ago

          We know what Vlad is…he’s a GOOD hitter, sure EE might have more “upside” but that’s upside that we’ve never actually seen flourish in lots of playing time in the majors. I simply don’t like EE as our everyday DH, but I hope i’m proven wrong.

    • grant77 5 years ago

      All the more reason that he will sign a big bat. The guy lies like a sieve and always does the opposite of what he says.

      • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

        i dont get it. I understand that its good to get a big bat, but its not like the Jays NEED to go get one unneccesarily

      • gorlak357 5 years ago

        When has he lied? He basically follows through on what he says.

        • grant77 5 years ago

          If you want a recent example, he said the team was ‘done with trades’ after the Wells deal.

          • gorlak357 5 years ago

            Did he say ” we will not be making any more trades” or did he say that he most likely won’t be making anymore trades.

  9. SneakyLongBalls 5 years ago

    Lind should never bat against lefties, so he will lose 100+ AB a season.
    I think a Willy Aybar type would be ok for a season. Play’s 3rd, 1st, DH, another option to lead off and comes cheap

    • vilifyingforce 5 years ago

      That depends on if he can get close to his 2009 season. If he can he should be playing regardless of who’s pitching since he did just fine against them then.

      • SneakyLongBalls 5 years ago

        LIND: .608 OPS against lefties
        EE: .847 OPS against lefties
        While EE is not at the top of anyone’s list for production, he does provide pop.
        Playing Lind against lefties is conceeding a 1/5 day at the plate.

        • vilifyingforce 5 years ago

          Again, it depends on how Lind does. In 2009 he had a .780 OPS against lefties. If Lind struggles against lefties then yes a platoon could very well be needed. We have a greater need for somebody who can play CF then yet another corner infielder. Rivera has played there a bit, but, not sure how well he can play. I think a bench guy who can play CF is a must at this point though.

    • gorlak357 5 years ago

      Deciding that a player signed long term should be stuck as a platoon player because of less then 200 Ab’s is crazy.

      • SneakyLongBalls 5 years ago

        Baseball is a numbers game, why DECREASE your chance of winning because of a contract. Lind is not an all star calibre player, so until he proves it, platoon it is

  10. z3rogs 5 years ago

    Didn’t they just trade FOR Napoli?

  11. jwsox 5 years ago

    time for AA to suck it up use EE as your back up 1st/3rd/DH and sign vlad to full time DH leave lind at 1st now thats a good team…

    • vilifyingforce 5 years ago

      Unless Vladdy continues his second half numbers from last year of course. And EE won’t be playing at 3b.

  12. mrmoss 5 years ago

    Scott Campbell in AAA can flat out hit….was real close to the majors until he got injured,can play 3rd and 2nd base

  13. Sniderlover 5 years ago

    I expect Lind to bounce back. He just has too good of a swing not to.

    Yeah I’m a little depressed EE is our full-time DH but that was expected when he made that signing.

    I fully expect AA to pick up another outfielder, someone who can play CF. Frasor for Mike Cameron +?

  14. vilifyingforce 5 years ago

    Hopefully Napoli wouldn’t of made you happy.

    Were their numbers from last season. Lind should be given every chance this season to show what he can do, if he can’t get ‘it’ back then make changes, but, I’d wait for him to prove he’s only a .237/.287/.425/.712 hitter.

    We also have no idea what else is planned, if anything. If the next move somehow lands us a better option then Davis for CF by dealing something form the pen then I’d be very happy with this deal. Francisco’s xfip has been very close to what Scott Downs put up. Not sure what the deal was down in Texas, but, he could be a very good piece moving forward for us. And with the CBA ending after 2011 AA might have wanted to try and cash in on any supp picks while he could and keep things as wide open as he can for whatever comes next.

  15. TartanElk 5 years ago

    Why wouldn’t he be a good fit?

    The Jays have a young, inexperienced catcher and another who’s pretty much a career backup. He can take over if either of those two struggle or need some relief. I know Napoli isn’t a solid catcher and all, but it’s still something he can do.

    Then you have Lind/Encarnacion at 1B/DH. Again, Napoli could DH and play 1B as a starter, but he’d likely have just been when somebody needs a day off. He isn’t going to give you a huge average, but he’ll give you good power numbers.

    So really, why wouldn’t you want him on your bench? What else do the Jays have at this point that’s so much better?

  16. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    i was really high on Napoli, but i guess AA wants more Defense-first players

  17. JaysFTW 5 years ago

    Weren’t you one of the few blue jays fans on this site that did not like the Vernon Wells deal? LOL. Just be quiet.

  18. okbluejays 5 years ago

    What’s wrong with adding Vlad on a one year deal just to add some excitement and TALENT to this upcoming version of the Jays? It doesn’t hurt the development of any of their players, and it gives them a legit DH who can replace a lot of Well’s production for at least one season. It also gives a little excitement for Jay fans who aren’t expecting the team to contend this year anyways.

  19. TartanElk 5 years ago

    Ok, but again, who do the Jays have in their organization that they could use off the bench? Who’s left that they can get?

  20. vilifyingforce 5 years ago

    6M to sit on the bench or rotate through C/DH/1b is a lot of money. His value relies on him staying at catcher. I think AA fully intends to give JPA the full season to work it out, this is our final true rebuild season imo where wins won’t matter much. If they come that’d be great, but, I don’t see AA panicking trying to make moves to improve us even if we’re on the cusp of the PO’s if it means giving up anything he values longterm.

  21. Tdot29 5 years ago

    Vlad has some pretty bad knees, i dont see him playing on turf on a fulltime basis. If the season was only 3-4 months then that wouldnt be an issue with him.

  22. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    maybe, just maybe the Jays are trying to BUILD UP SOME VALUE in their players so they can net something? Thats what i see with EE and perhaps Lind

  23. sadp 5 years ago

    What you’re saying sounds exactly like what was said of Manny. Lesson: don’t hold your breath.

  24. adameb 5 years ago

    AA’s prime targets in acquiring guys right now seems to be either
    a) Type A or B players who will decline arbitration and leave, providing a return of cost controlled assets next year
    b) Players who can be traded at the deadline for cost controlled assets

    So, signing Vlad for excitement doesn’t fall in line with his normal actions. I assume in a year or two we’ll also be seeing “c) Guys who can help the team contend now”
    but thats not now. Its what the Wells savings are for, hopefully. Were we to sign him, and if he performs well, and if someone wants him at the deadline maybe we’d get something out of it, but thats 2 if’s too many.

  25. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    no Napoli was a gift from Reagins. The guy’s a true angel.

  26. RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

    That deal actually makes sense but when was the last time the Sox and Jays got together for a trade?

  27. grownice 5 years ago

    I have this crazy feeling most opinons will change when ee isnt e5 for the whole season, just a hunch of mine, his power is pretty scary and its not outta the question to expect 25 + in a full season.

  28. okbluejays 5 years ago

    We know what EE is, that’s why. He’s going to hit some home runs, hit for little average, not take very many walks and play terrible defense. I’d much rather Vlad, as EE pretty much gives them negative value in the field anyways, so what does it matter that he CAN play the field? I don’t think the Jays are going to sign Vlad for a lot of reasons, but I don’t think it would be a terrible deal especially since he’ll likely cost pennies on the dollar.

  29. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    wait, you didn’t like the fact that the Jays got $1 Mill, FF, and a Wells-lite? all for the price of 1 overpaid aging OF?

  30. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    his career numbers until 2010 are actually half-decent. .341 OBP and .790 OPS
    its not everyday player level, but its not bad

  31. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    why do we need a replacement for Davis? Hes the perfect stopgap CF.

  32. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago

    As much as i hate to say it, we do have Corey Patterson as a platoon for Davis

  33. okbluejays 5 years ago

    Failing to see how .300/.345/.496 for a .360 wOBA in full-time duty is the same as .244/.305.482 for a .339 wOBA in part-time action.

  34. i dont think davis’ splits are so awful that he needs a platoon, we’re talking a very respectable .276 against righties for his career. its hardly like the lind splits against lefties last year and definitely not worth the travesty of having corey patterson in the lineup semi regularly

  35. Those are certainly everyday numbers if we range across positions. They are not fantastic for 3B, but they are respectable from a positionally-neutral standpoint.

  36. vilifyingforce 5 years ago

    I misspoke. What we need is somebody who can play CF beside Davis. And I’m not sure Rivera counts.

  37. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 5 years ago


    personnaly i prefer darin

  38. vilifyingforce 5 years ago

    It could very well be Patterson(didn’t realize we signed him….or forgot him I knew about Winston Abreu…). Mastroianni would probably be better off trying AAA and see what he can do there.

  39. vilifyingforce 5 years ago

    Unless he hits like 2009. If he does; you just committed Seppuku. We likely have no CF ready for 2011 anyways.

  40. vilifyingforce 5 years ago

    You already know how EE is going to do playing first base? Can you give me some lottery numbers?

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