The Future of the Toronto Blue Jays Outfield?

Rogers Centre OutfieldAfter the 2013 season ends for the Toronto Blue Jays we will immediately start asking what needs to change for next season so we don’t see a repeat performance in 2014.

The outfield is one of the things that has some room for change/improvement/opportunity.

Currently the depth chart shows Melky Cabrera ($8m) in left field, Colby Rasmus (Arbitration Eligible) in centre field, Jose Bautista ($14m) in right field and Rajai Davis (Free Agent) in the extra man role.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayThe first change that I would make is saying goodbye to Rajai. I know we love his speed, but it’s time to say goodbye. It’s time to move on. And in the 4th outfielder spot, while there is impact throughout the season, I would argue that he can be replaced with a younger, less experienced player.My eyes are on Moises Sierra and Kevin Pillar as options for that 4th man role from within the Blue Jays organization. The edge goes to Sierra. I like his bat and he looks comfortable in the outfield while packing a canon for an arm which is a nice addition.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayIn left field there will be no change. Jose Bautista is not going anywhere. Let’s just say that now. I probably should have said it first, but whatever. Jose’s contract is not overbearing. He will not be traded. He is a good major league outfielder with an above average arm. He’s staying. Oh ya, and he can hit.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayIn centre field there are 2 camps. Camp #1 says get rid of Colby and go with Anthony Gose. Camp #2 says stick with Colby and move along. I’m in Camp #2 with the rest of the Colby Kids. Colby is 27 years old and reaching his prime as a hitter. His power numbers and run production stats fit within the upper 3rd of all big league CFs. His defense is upper level with great range. And I believe he will cut down on the strikeouts as he continues to mature. I would love to see him signed to a 4 year deal – maybe 3 with an option or 2 even. Colby should be a Blue Jay.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayHowever, in Camp #1 they say “look at Anthony Gose! He’s fast, his range is off the charts, he steals home.” The problem, much like the problem with Emilio Bonafacio earlier this season, is that he doesn’t get on base consistently. I think that Gose needs another full season at AAA to try and figure it out. Right now he’s an 8 or 9 hitter – that’s not what we want him for. In all honesty, I’d be willing to use Gose as a trade chip if someone wanted to offer a young starting pitcher… remember that Rios for Lincecum deal we didn’t pull the trigger on a few years ago…

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayLeft field is where I don’t know what to do. If someone came and asked AA for Melky in a trade I would urge him to say yes. I think it’s the smartest play. Melky didn’t work out this year. He couldn’t run, he didn’t hit for extra bases, his legs were a mess, he disappointed. Now, I was all for giving him a chance to prove that he could be an important piece of this winning team when the signing happened – but that has changed for me now. The question is this: What do we do with his 8 million dollar contract for 2014? If he’s untradeable (which I suspect he is) do we buy him out? Do we waive him? Is management willing to eat that money?

If yes, who replaces Melky?
Boston Red Sox Photo DayShin-Soo ChooA list of potential free agent outfielders included these names: Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeff Francoeur, Curtis Granderson, Nyjer Morgan, Hunter Pence & Delmon Young. I don’t know if any of them are the right answer. I think that Ankiel, Francoeur, Morgan, Bay and Young are a bad idea. I don’t especially like Pence. Beltran is old. Crisp is little better than Davis in my eyes. And that leaves Choo, Ellsbury and Granderson. I don’t know if we could get any of them. I know that Ellsbury is the best of that bunch. I think he’d be great in the 2 spot behind Reyes and in front of Bautista and Edwin… but Boston is going to try really hard to sing him, as they should.

Gose is another option. If the team decides that he is major league ready. I don’t like it… but it could happen. We could see Gose, Rasmus and Bautista in the outfield next season.

At the end of the day I want to see change. Just not maybe the change that everyone else wants to see.

Leave Colby and Jose where they are.

Say goodbye to Rajai and Melky.

Bring in Moises and a LF via Free Agent or Trade.

Do I have it all figured out? Of course not.

But do you have any better ideas?

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The Future of the Toronto Blue Jays Outfield?

Rogers Centre OutfieldAfter the 2013 season ends for the Toronto Blue Jays we will immediately start asking what needs to change for next season so we don’t see a repeat performance in 2014.

The outfield is one of the things that has some room for change/improvement/opportunity.

Currently the depth chart shows Melky Cabrera ($8m) in left field, Colby Rasmus (Arbitration Eligible) in centre field, Jose Bautista ($14m) in right field and Rajai Davis (Free Agent) in the extra man role.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo Day2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayThe first change that I would make is saying goodbye to Rajai. I know we love his speed, but it’s time to say goodbye. It’s time to move on. And in the 4th outfielder spot, while there is impact throughout the season, I would argue that he can be replaced with a younger, less experienced player.My eyes are on Moises Sierra and Kevin Pillar as options for that 4th man role from within the Blue Jays organization. The edge goes to Sierra. I like his bat and he looks comfortable in the outfield while packing a canon for an arm which is a nice addition.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayIn left field there will be no change. Jose Bautista is not going anywhere. Let’s just say that now. I probably should have said it first, but whatever. Jose’s contract is not overbearing. He will not be traded. He is a good major league outfielder with an above average arm. He’s staying. Oh ya, and he can hit.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayIn centre field there are 2 camps. Camp #1 says get rid of Colby and go with Anthony Gose. Camp #2 says stick with Colby and move along. I’m in Camp #2 with the rest of the Colby Kids. Colby is 27 years old and reaching his prime as a hitter. His power numbers and run production stats fit within the upper 3rd of all big league CFs. His defense is upper level with great range. And I believe he will cut down on the strikeouts as he continues to mature. I would love to see him signed to a 4 year deal – maybe 3 with an option or 2 even. Colby should be a Blue Jay.

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayHowever, in Camp #1 they say “look at Anthony Gose! He’s fast, his range is off the charts, he steals home.” The problem, much like the problem with Emilio Bonafacio earlier this season, is that he doesn’t get on base consistently. I think that Gose needs another full season at AAA to try and figure it out. Right now he’s an 8 or 9 hitter – that’s not what we want him for. In all honesty, I’d be willing to use Gose as a trade chip if someone wanted to offer a young starting pitcher… remember that Rios for Lincecum deal we didn’t pull the trigger on a few years ago…

2013 Toronto Blue Jays Photo DayLeft field is where I don’t know what to do. If someone came and asked AA for Melky in a trade I would urge him to say yes. I think it’s the smartest play. Melky didn’t work out this year. He couldn’t run, he didn’t hit for extra bases, his legs were a mess, he disappointed. Now, I was all for giving him a chance to prove that he could be an important piece of this winning team when the signing happened – but that has changed for me now. The question is this: What do we do with his 8 million dollar contract for 2014? If he’s untradeable (which I suspect he is) do we buy him out? Do we waive him? Is management willing to eat that money?

If yes, who replaces Melky?
Boston Red Sox Photo DayShin-Soo ChooA list of potential free agent outfielders included these names: Rick Ankiel, Jason Bay, Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Coco Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeff Francoeur, Curtis Granderson, Nyjer Morgan, Hunter Pence & Delmon Young. I don’t know if any of them are the right answer. I think that Ankiel, Francoeur, Morgan, Bay and Young are a bad idea. I don’t especially like Pence. Beltran is old. Crisp is little better than Davis in my eyes. And that leaves Choo, Ellsbury and Granderson. I don’t know if we could get any of them. I know that Ellsbury is the best of that bunch. I think he’d be great in the 2 spot behind Reyes and in front of Bautista and Edwin… but Boston is going to try really hard to sing him, as they should.

Gose is another option. If the team decides that he is major league ready. I don’t like it… but it could happen. We could see Gose, Rasmus and Bautista in the outfield next season.

At the end of the day I want to see change. Just not maybe the change that everyone else wants to see.

Leave Colby and Jose where they are.

Say goodbye to Rajai and Melky.

Bring in Moises and a LF via Free Agent or Trade.

Do I have it all figured out? Of course not.

But do you have any better ideas?

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