Seven different players have started games at shortstop for the Blue Jays this season, with catcher Russell Martin being the latest (and most unusual) addition to that list on Saturday. With Troy Tulowitzki and Aledmys Diaz both on the DL, the Jays have been strapped for answers at short, Sportsnet.ca’s Ben Nicholson-Smith writes, as the likes of Yangervis Solarte, Martin, or Gio Urshela aren’t really suited to the position, while young shortstops like Richard Urena, Gift Ngoepe, or Lourdes Gurriel Jr. aren’t yet MLB-caliber hitters. Solarte might end up being the best short-term answer, provided that Devon Travis can regain any of his old hitting form as a regular second baseman. As for Martin, he has already expressed a willingness to see more time around the infield as a way of helping alleviate Toronto’s infield depth problems, and it isn’t out of the question that he’ll again make an appearance at shortstop given the Jays’ lack at the position. “Really, we don’t have a true shortstop on the team right now. Russell’s got good range, he’s got a good arm. He’s got everything. He’s got good hands,” manager John Gibbons said.
Some more from around baseball…
- The Cardinals’ ability to develop from quality pitching from within has long been a strength, The Athletic’s Bernie Miklasz writes (subscription required), as St. Louis has struck gold time and time again with homegrown starters and relievers, some of whom were longshot draft picks. This ability to identify unconventional pitching talent has also extended to signings like Miles Mikolas, who is posting superb numbers after spending the last three seasons in Japan. “For years now, everyone in baseball has looked at the St. Louis organization and asked, ’How do they keep doing this?’ Their people see attributes that others don’t,” one rival executive told Miklasz. “They’re really good about projecting what a pitcher can become….They turn out better than many in our business envisioned. The Cardinals do a fantastic job. Better than anyone, really. It’s not like the Cardinals are sitting there every year, drafting in the top 10.”
- Once Hanley Ramirez passes through the DFA process, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune argues that the White Sox should sign the veteran slugger as a short-term boost for the DH spot and for the lineup as a whole. Essentially, it would be a “what’s the worst that could happen?” signing for the team, Sullivan admits, and it may not necessarily make sense for a team that is prioritizing young players. I’d also add that if Chicago did sign Ramirez, he could potentially be flipped at the deadline or in August if he heats up at the plate.
- Massachusetts high schooler Mike Vasil has announced that he is attending the University Of Virginia this fall and has thus withdrawn his name from draft consideration, MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo reports (Twitter link). Vasil provided a fuller explanation of his decision on his own Twitter feed. The right-hander was a well-regarded member of this year’s draft class, with high placements on pre-draft rankings lists from MLB.com (which had Vasil 25th) and Baseball America (37th). He had already committed to Virginia, though it’s very common for high schoolers to forego college and begin their pro careers after being drafted.
Dang, I wish Vasil were in the draft since he would have gone in the first round. Oh well, he should likely be in the top 10 convo in three years.
With the minor league system in place to actually develop talent, it is shocking to me that a potential first round pick in MLB would not choose to go pro. In basketball the system is not yet in place for a high school player to get years to develop into a pro player, but in MLB you can get upwards of 6 years to develop before teams give up on you. NBA players barely get 3.
Just ask Karsten Whitson how turning down millions to go to college worked out for him. It’s one thing for a 35th round pick to choose to go to college and develop into a higher pick, but a top 25 prospect has very little room to improve and a potential for a huge loss. It’s just not worth the risk unless you don’t want to be a professional athlete.
In basketball, that system is called college. Besides, basketball requires athletic talent, endurance, etc. Baseball? Big sexy still playing at 45.
NBA – the most watered down professional sport in existence. No other sport can an 18 year old selfish child succeed in at the highest level on a consistent basis. They sorely need a minor league system to develop players. NBA hasn’t been worth watching since the mid 90s.
I meant a professional system and an NBA team doesn’t have control over the development of college athletes.
Also, Colon is an absolute outlier, the next oldest active player is Fernando Rodney at 40. But Kevin Willis played in the NBA until he was 44. And if you prefer active players, Vince Carter was 41 this season, or older than every MLB player except Colon.
Jaromir Jagr played hockey
very well up until this season, and I believe he is close to 46. And hockey is a much more demanding sport than basketball or baseball. I do agree with part of your post though, which is that Bartolo is a beautiful man.
Colon is a pitcher and it isn’t like everyone pitches until they are 45. In the NBA you just have to be tall, most of those guys wouldn’t even be in the league if they were under 6’6 because their game sucks. Can’t learn plays, can’t play D, can’t shoot … just 6’6 with a quick 1st step. I used to love the NBA now I loathe it. GTFO with that BS
He did just return from injury last week, so maybe there’s some ugly medical info we’re not privy to? Maybe he just really wants to go to college, but man, taking yourself off the board entirely this close to the draft is pretty rare if he were actually looking at top 20 bonus money. Hoping it’s just a personal decision and not a sign that something’s wrong behind the scenes
If Hanley goes somewhere where he can get regular at bats, could his vesting option still activate? If so, would the Red Sox have to pay it or the new team? I could see a division rival without much chance in 2018 like the Orioles signing him and giving him enough at bats to cost the Red Sox a large chunk of payroll next year.
The vesting option is still in effect and the Red Sox would be on the hook.
As for someone like the Orioles giving ABs to Hanley just to spite the Red Sox, I wouldn’t bet on it. They’re already stuck with Davis at first and despite Alvarez’s lousy BA he does have an OPS near .800. It doesn’t make sense for the Orioles to sign him.
No way, that contract is null and void the second he’s released.
Gotta love when people like start wearing purple make a comment like that and be completely wrong.
The option is void if released
If he were to be claimed or traded the team who claims him or trades for him would be on the hook for the option NOT Boston.
Have some knowledge before you speak
You mean the option is void after his release. Hanley still gets paid every penny the Red Six owe him, minus the prorated minimum salary his next club pays him.
No it’s not! The contract is voided !
After he’s released
and Boston is only responsible for the money this year. If a team claims him or traded for him, they are responsible for this year
and next year if he vests !
Everything I’ve heard is that the vesting option dies once he’s released. If he’s traded or claimed, the option remains, but it’s tough to see that happening (admittedly would’ve said the same thing about Phil Hughes too though, so maybe Boston can send Ramirez somewhere with a prospect or pick)
He’ll become a free agent, so the option will no longer apply. Red Sox are safe in that regard since no one will claim him.
No! That contract is gone
The Jays Mgmt doesn’t have a clue. Seven shortstops..At the end of last season, I and others called in these pages, for the Jays to sign free agent Zack Cozart prior to his signing LAA.
All this Blue Jays shortstop revolving door crap could have been avoided -all the paperwork, players shifted around, plays not made, the giant waist of time etc etc. We heard in these very MLBTR blogs that Ngoepe, Diaz, and Solarte were not the longterm solution. Neither is Martin or Urshela. Gurriel Jr is not ready yet. This is so sad.
Will someone join me in agreement that those making player personnel decisions for the Toronto Blue Jays need to be replaced? #Scoutseyes is right again.
You can’t blame the management for thinking Tulo is healthy at the start of the offseason and providing a capable back up in Diaz to cover at SS in case he gets hurt, just for him to get hurt. It’s not their fault they provided depth pieces into for them to be injured as well. With all the money being paid to Tulo I can’t see the front office spending that kind of money on one guy to take his spot. So instead of paying one guy around 20 mil let’s pay 30+mil for two guys at the same position. Diaz is cheaper was very good in 2016 and we have control with him.
Diaz can’t field.
Diaz has a subpar arm from SS.
Diaz has subpar range.
Diaz doesn’t hit well enough to start.
Diaz doesn’t field well enough to be a utility player.
So Jays fans should be happy having control of Diaz?
there is a reason the Cards sent him to the minors last year.
Who cares what they are paying Tulo. The Jays are owned by the richest owner in basbeall and Tulo’s money spent is gone already. Let’s replace Tulo and move on regardless of what it costs.
Let’s have some big market, big picture thinking on this.
The situation was called last year. Cozart was the right move for the Jays at the time. This Jays leadership team couldn’t see that. Time to change the Jays leadership team.
If they were willing to play with the big boys the move to make was Arrieta (instead of Garcia) and an OF bat. They spent $8 on Garcia, 2 on Diaz, 2 on Grichuk and 5 on Granderson, plus Solarte at 4. Had to deal Pearce to create more spending room, add another $30-mil to the offseason spending and they’d be around $185. That’s where they needed to be with this particular team with the contracts they could not offload (Martin, Tulo, Morales).
Management did not do this because had they fallen on their face they’d be on the clock in-terms of getting replaced.
Well… that escalated quickly.
The management can be blamed for not seeing what many Jays fans have seen for the last year, this team isn’t built to compete long term and needs to be blown up. Even a healthy Tulo hasn’t played well in Toronto and has shown he can’t stay healthy. Why are they holding on to assets just to finish 5+ games out of the wild card? This was obvious at last years deadline. Now the team of aging expensive vets is getting older and losing trade value by the minute. Not that Martin/Tulo have much trade value to begin with.
I’ll join you. Tough to hire a group with a small market mentality in a large market (or trying to be), and expect them to go big when the moment comes.
The Jays can have Cozart, for a couple of B level prospects.
Nah. Maybe Seattle will take him.
Wanting to sign Zack, and signing him, are two different things. He may not have wanted to play out of country. The Jays may feel that a three year contract would have blocked their future. As fans, we never know how hard a team tries to sign a player. Failure to succeed in an acquisition can never lead to positive publicity.
Scoutseyes is full of BS again! More generalization statements that could be made about any team !
Most of what he’s saying is true Brucey.
Hey Trimmy! Go suck a duck! He says the same old stuff
and it could be said for any team. Not any revelation.
We aren’t talking about any other team, just the Blue Jays.
It also cannot be said about all teams; the small market teams or teams in rebuild mode not looking to win at this present time would not count in this situation. Blue Jays were supposed to “win”. The last two off-seasons were orchestrated as though winning was simply a disguise.
“winning was simply a disguise” So right for the Blue Jays. And Shaprio wonders why the season ticket sales cratered this year.
I’m talking about him always saying the Jays needed to go out
I’m talking about the same old story he gives about his revelations that the Jays needs to get 2 starters
and spend all this money
and trade the bad contracts
and strengthen the bullpen ! Same old crap! It could be said about any team!
He’s never been a scout or a AAA manager either like he’s claimed on here ! It’s all BS!
Cardinals develop the right way. They don’t tank 5 years in a row like the cubs did to compete. And they develop there own pitching not like the cubs do.
Not a Cardinals fan in the least, but they have are one successful ballclub that has consistently fielded winning teams since the 80s (as far as I can remember). They know how to run a minor league system and replace older players when needed.
They were really bad in the late 80’s to mid 90’s when Busch was trying to sell the team until DeWitte and Co purchased it and brought in LaRussa. Torre should really thank the Yankees because we’d look at him a lot different as a manager if his career ended in STL.
Dave Duncan helped turn a lot of guys around in St Louis, much like he did in Oakland.
Cards also got a few good years out of some hidden gems. The organization has done a pretty good job.
Have you ever had an original thought, backed by fact, in your entire life?? How do you function???
When it comes to scouting the StL Cardinals development of excellent pitching it is the best in all of baseball.
Yes, I’ve been a RedBirds fan all of my life, and every year they impress me with there farmclub developing young player’s. but Yodia behind the plate I give much success also, he studies and knows every batter’s weakness to help them when they get here.
When you realize that about 80% of high school right-handers , chosen in the back half of the first round (where Vassil figured to go) never even get to AA, you can understand his reasoning. Yes, many signings include a “college bonus”, but by the time you wash out, you’re likely in your mid 20s, married, with a couple of kids….kind of tough to start college in that circumstance.
And let’s leave aside the “I’ll put it in the bank” stuff….another thing that’s hard to do. Kershaw kept his college bonus in the bank….exactly why would he want to college at this point? To learn how to count his millions?
It’s a sound choice.
The Adrian Beltre
I’ve got to give the kid credit for his honesty. No need to punish a team(and future employer) for having faith in your ability. Kudos…
Lots of teams be salivating over Hanley…..
Am I missing something? Do the White Sox really need a “short-term boost at DH” right now? Even if they did (which they don’t), is a 34 year old Hanley really an upgrade to the 27 year old Matt Davidson at this point and/or going forward? I’m going to go with a big fat no.