MLB Rumors: Toronto Blue Jays Looking To Fill Infield Gap With Maicer Izturis?

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Updated: No longer a rumor! I’m okay with this.

Ken Rosenthal has struck again on a Toronto Blue Jays rumor from the GM’s meetings at Indian Wells, CA.

Well, not totally, I guess. The new development that the Blue Jays were closing in on a middle infielder to fill a potential gap left by Kelly Johnson actually came from Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi; but thanks to Rosenthal, there’s at least a name that we can take a look at:

How expectedly uninteresting. Maicer Izturis has…experience going for him, but no much more than that. A switch-hitting utility man with the Anaheim Angels for almost his entire career, the 32-year old Izturis has played just about everywhere on the infield, and can give the Blue Jays an affordable platoon piece to go with the likes to Adeiny Hechavarria and Mike McCoy.

There’s certainly some value in Izturis’ versatility, but if you’re expecting a return beyond a part-time player – don’t. Izturis plays an average defense, with his best position being at second base. At the plate, the infielder is a middling quantity, with a career .273/.337/.381 triple-slash that suggests he likely won’t be a sinkhole in the lineup, even if it’s unlikely that he’ll be winning any home run titles anytime soon.

What Izturis does have to offer is a little bit of average from both sides of the plate, the occasional walk, and a decent speed factor (17 stolen bases in 100 games last season). No, his .634 OPS in ’12 isn’t exactly starter-worthy, and that he’s put up a pair of sub-.700 OPS seasons over the last three years doesn’t do much to provide hope either…but, it’s a thin FA market where the best player available is a soon-to-be-38 Marco Scutaro, and the Blue Jays aren’t the only ones looking to fill a gap in the infield – it looks like they’re just going to have to roll with what’s out there.

Besides, the team has already lived with a .678 OPS season from Johnson. Izturis isn’t likely to be much better – but he won’t cost the Blue Jays $6.375 million a year either.

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