Kevin Goldstein released his list of the Blue Jays top eleven prospects and you have to be happy with the talent on the list. At the top is catcher Travis d’Arnaud. The 2007 first round draft pick raked at Double-A last year and while he’ll probably spend the front part of the season in the minors, it’s going to be hard to keep this kid down. I like the chance of seeing d’Arnaud in the All Star Game at some point in the next few years.
Outfielder Jake Marisnick is second and while he’s a little further away then d’Arnaud, there’s a lot of talent here as well. He’ll be in the Florida State League which is historically a pitcher’s league but hopefully he’ll be able to hold his own.
Daniel Norris is the top pitching prospect and he was their second round pick in 2011. He signed too late to play but he’s a hard throwing left handed pitcher. Anthony Gose (OF) and Noah Syndergaard (RHP) round out the top five.
The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with outfielder Colby Rasmus as they signed him to a one year, $2.7 million deal. The former first round pick came over to the Jays in the three team deal that included guys like Octavio Dotel and Edwin Jackson.
Rasmus belted 23 home runs in sophomore campaign but he struggled in 2011 with a .225 batting average between the two teams he played for. He was awful for the Jays in the final two months of the season with a .517 OPS. He has a solid hitting eye and can draw some walks so there’s upside here. He’s also still young and he’ll turn 26 in August.
The Blue Jays signed left handed relief pitcher Darren Oliver to a one year deal with an option for a second year. We’re pending a physical so the financial terms haven’t been disclosed yet. Oliver just turned 41 but he had a solid season for the Rangers the last two years when they’ve made the World Series.
He had 44 strikeouts and 11 walks in 51 innings. He doesn’t have a big platoon split either so while he’s not death on lefties, he’s also good against right handed hitters so he’s a guy you can throw out there for a full inning rather then using him as a true LOOGY. One concern is his workload has come down the past few years. He threw 51 innings and that was the fewest frames since 1995.
Still, this is a solid pickup and he should help out the pen. He’ll most likely be used as the team’s set up man along with Casey Janssen.
Leading up to the posting for Yu Darvish, it seemed like the Jays were being mentioned as the favorite but they came up short to the AL champs, the Texas Rangers. The auction was secret so we’ll never know how close they were but the Rangers got him for a record $51.7 million.
Alex Anthopoulos was one of two general managers to travel to Japan to look at Darvish and the Jays seemed interested in the pitcher for a while. It’s just too bad they didn’t go a little higher. Darvish would have been a nice addition to the Jays staff.
The Blue Jays sent some cash to the Cleveland Indians for infielders Luis Valbuena. The Indians had designated him for assignment and the Jays were able to work out a deal for him rather then taking their chances on him getting through waivers. The move now gives the Jays 40 men on their 40 man roster so they’re filled to capacity at the moment.
So far, Valbuena has been great in the minors but pretty bad at the plate in a big league uniform. In Triple A, he hit .302 with some pop last season but in 229 major league games, he’s hit just .226. At this point, we’re not quite sure how the Jays are going to use him but a potential power bat at second base is something that’s good to have no matter what.
Well, Jose Bautista was the best offensive player in baseball yet he still finished third in the AL MVP. I can live with Justin Verlander winning the award (Bautista and Verlander were actually tied in WAR) but Jacoby Ellsbury finished just ahead of Bautista in the voting. Some of this stuff is just absurd. Someone gave Bautista a ninth place vote. Then again, someone gave Ellsbury a tenth place vote and another person completely left Verlander off the ballot.
Last year Bautista came in fourth place despite hitting 54 home runs so I’m not surprised by the lackluster performance. Still, until the voting gets under control (one Texas reporter gave Michael Young a first place vote and in 2007, when A-Rod was by far the best player, you had a couple of Detroit reporters giving Magglio Ordonez some first place votes) this crazy stuff is going to happen.
[powered by WordPress.]
28 queries. 0.774 seconds