The Blue Jays executives, media and fans entertained the idea of brining in a veteran bat this off season, a discount veteran bat to play a bench role or spell Encarnacion as the DH from time to time.
Sources insist that Anthopoulos aimed his sights at Carlos Beltran prior to signing with the defending World Series champion Cardinals not to mention Manny Ramirez who later inked a minor league deal with Oakland.
With Grapefruit action set to begin on Saturday, a new set of rumors has surfaced regarding the Blue Jays and their search for a veteran bat.
3 names top this week’s list:
The 38 year old Ordonez is coming off a 2nd consecutive injury plagued season that saw the former Silver Slugger appear in a mere 92 games hitting .255 and driving in 32. During his 15 year Major League career, Ordonez has compiled a .309/.369/.502 slash line to go with 294 HR’s and 1236 RBI’s
In 50 games played at the Skydome, Ordonez has hit 7 HR’s, drove in 27 runs and collected 13 doubles. Not terrible.
Vlad is another interesting FA looking for a place to play in 2012. The speed may not be what it once was and he can no longer play the field but the 37 year old still has the ability to hit and draw a walk.
In 2011 Guerrero hit .290/.317/.416, his lowest totals since his sample sized debut with the Expos in 1996. Don’t count the career .318 hitter out just yet as he is only a year removed from his 9th All Star season. 2010 saw him hit an even .300 while knocking out 29 HR’s for the AL champion Texas Rangers.
Although his numbers have been on a steady decline since his last year with the Yanks (2008) when he hit .303/.375/.461, Damon is still capable of being a dangerous hitter if used in the right situations. The fact that he bats from the left side of the plate makes him an interesting candidate for DH in a platoon situation with Encarnacion.
Coming in to the 2012 season, Damon is a mere 277 hits shy of officially punching his ticket to Cooperstown. This leaves the 38 year old motivated to continue producing at the Major League level as it’s conceivable that he reaches the 3000 hit plateau within the next 2 seasons.
The fact that Damon would only see part time AB’s playing for Toronto could be an issue if he is offered a contract somewhere else, a possibility that seems to make the most sense for the aging slugger.
All of the above bring postseason experience with them, something that the Blue Jays current roster falls short of. With the expansion of the MLB playoffs announced earlier this week, it couldn’t hurt to have another guy around the club with some AB’s in the 2nd season.
Regardless of what happens between now and April 5th, it’ll be interesting to see what Encarnacion can accomplish this spring. His post ASG numbers suggest that our DH is on the verge of a break out season in 2012.