J.P. Ricciardi is going bargain-shopping this winter. The Jays won’t be in on any big-name free agents. Instead, names like Paul Lo Duca, Matt Clement, and Tony Armas are on Ricciardi’s shopping list.
The Jays like the idea of pairing Gregg Zaun with another veteran backstop, but don’t want to give out a deal greater than one year. It doesn’t seem like Lo Duca would go for that, but sometimes the last catcher standing has to settle. It happened to Bengie Molina in ’06 and he was coming off a decent year. The Marlins could pluck one of Lo Duca or Michael Barrett and the other one could get screwed.
The Jays have good rotation depth: Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen, and Gustavo Chacin. That front three stacks up with anyone’s when healthy. You can never have too much pitching, however, so projects like Clement and Armas are being considered. Clement worked with Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg in Florida. The Padres might be the favorite, but plenty of teams are interested.