Thoughts on Blue Jays free agents.

Blue Jays Signings…So Far 

I cought the JP Riccardi interview on the Fan 590 the other night and JP defended his recently GM deals to the ever crochety Bob McCowan. 

JP says, “In Royce Clayton we got a shortstop who can catch the ball.”  Is this not the understatement of the century?  It seems he is implying John MacDonald counldn’t “catch the ball”.  It was obvious to everyone that JohnnyMac couldn’t hit the ball and I guess he tricked everyone, except JP, that he could catch the ball.  JP should be scout the t-ball diamonds in Toronto for 6-year old because there are always a few that can “catch the ball”.  Apart from that comment, Royce Clayton is the ninth hitter on this team and his $1.5mil contract isn’t breaking anybanks.  His first choice, Adam Kennedy, signed with the Cards and JP paints the Jays as mere also-rans in the Kennedy sweeps.

In regards to the Barajas and Zaun escapade.  What Zaun did for the Jays last year was great for a part-time player making $1mil.  However, no one is expecting anything more from Zaun than his production last year, maybe more passed balls and more runners stealing bases on him.  JP says he just wanted to try someone else.  Barajas, whose offensive numbers were the same as Zaun’s  made $3.25mil last year and is six years younger.  JP questioned Barajas trustworthyness when he did not appear to take a physical.  The interviewers pressured JP as to why he didn’t take this matter up to MLB to have Barajas honour his agreement.  JP used his character arguement along the lines of, “If he doesn’t honour his committment to take a physical, he isn’t going to honour his committment on the field.   We don’t want him anymore.”  JP flip-flops here.  One day, he tells Zaun to take a hike and then he give Barajas money and the second Barajas doesn’t show up for a physical JP cuts him loose.  JP should have done his homework on Barajas, this kind of behavior has to be know before you make a guy a starter on a team that is expecting to contend.  If the dude did the physical would JP still “question his committment on the field”?  He wouldn’t but he should.  And if he did he should never have signed him.

JP defended Frank Thomas and his character by saying that Thomas was victimised by Chicago media when Albert Belle refused to talk to the press.  Thomas would not anwser questions posed by the media about Albert Belle.  I agree with this.  When a player refuses to talk to the media it is a poison for the entire team.  Miguel Batista did this a couple years back in Toronto and when a high-profile super star like Joey Belle won’t talk it is a cancer that spread to other stars. 

JP did not say how much Uncle Ted gave out this year but he says he is still looking at a starting pitcher, and a middle releiver.  Should be interesting at the Rogers Centre this coming year.


Written By
More from Early
Live Game Notes — BJ is a Bust
 Live Game Notes — BJ is a Bust I have never been...
Read More
5 replies on “Thoughts on Blue Jays free agents.”
  1. says: Kman

    The thing with Barajas is, that his SLG % was pretty much the same over the past 3 seasons. Zaun’s had a 1 year blip in 2006 and could regress to career levels in 2007. For that reason, along with the age & upside of Barajas, I would have put him in a Jays uniform.

    Clayton isn’t bad for a 9th spot, but I’d still let Adams fight it out in spring training, and see if he can win the spot.

    Decent middle relievers aren’t cheap. The Orioles just nabbed up 2, including Williamson for $500,000. I think this would be the way to go for the Jays, take a veteran RP that has had a down year, coming off injury, etc, and give him around $500,000 and load up the contract with incentives. This is what happened with Bobby Howry a few years back, and now he’s one of the top middle RP in the majors.

    With super-bum Adam Eaton getting 3 years at $24 million for his stellar 5.17 ERA & 1.55 WHIP in 2006, Lilly is looking at $12+ easy. If they aren’t going to use Lind or Cannon, they should trade one of them now while their prices are high.

    Side note: Early, get on the ball with the More Tag, as Google won’t list this article due to the lack of the more tag.

Comments are closed.