When the existing options for a solution to a problem aren’t entirely palatable, one must sometimes be created.
And for the Toronto Blue Jays and their glaring hole at second base, they might only have to look one position over at Jose Reyes for someone who might just be able to meet their needs. In fact, doing so might even allow the team to more effectively construct its roster going forward.
But why take an established, high-paid star out of his premium position?
Well, there are several pros to the scenario, the first of which is that the Blue Jays can save their fans from having to deal with a potential mix of having Munenori Kawasaki and Ryan Goins at the position. While the former is certainly a fun spark plug and the latter has shown moments of defensive prowess in his short time in the bigs, neither are fit to start for a team that hopes to contend in the short term.
Moving Reyes over to second would also potentially have benefits as far as his health goes, as the oft-injured shortstop would be playing in a less difficult and physically demanding (although still very much so) spot on the infield. Even if he’s not there full-time and the difference is marginal, you’d think that anything to protect their $82 million asset (through 2017) would be good for the Blue Jays, regardless of what his future with the team might be.
Besides, it’s not like adding extra utility has ever hurt anyone. No, he hasn’t played second base in MLB since 2004, but the athleticism is there for him to make the adjustment if the team gets him adjusted early enough. As he continues to age and his legs require more rest, it might be the next natural step down the line anyway, and that the team needs a second baseman now could be the perfect impetus for him to take that step.
So what about the hole that would be left at short? Unlike the one at second base, it might actually end up being easier to fill at least as far as this offseason is concerned.
It’s perhaps a little hopeful to think that way, but consider the fact that there are a number of teams looking to acquire a second baseman this year, which means that the price of someone like Omar Infante — also known as the top target for teams that can’t afford Robinson Cano — could be significantly inflated. There’s no doubt that Alex Anthopoulos will look to acquire a suitable asset for the future via either FA or trade, but it’s going to cost him money that could be spent on pitching.
In the shortstop picture, things are a little different, with oft-injured Stephen Drew being a prime target that could perhaps be had for fewer years given his longevity concerns. Him being a Scott Boras client won’t help matters, but he did only earn a one-year deal in 2013 for $9.5 million, so the 30-year-old could be a fit with the the Blue Jays’ window to compete here … even if he’s a risk to spend a fair bit of time on the DL.
Should that not work out, there’s also Jhonny Peralta as well, and the fact that his position with the Detroit Tigers is now occupied means that he’s going to need a new home when 2014 begins.
Given that Toronto doesn’t really have a lot of options at second, having Reyes take reps there so that he could at least be a two-position player going forward (while also perhaps looking to add a replacement-level backup acquisition like Willie Bloomquist) would mitigate some of the risk in pursuing a player like Drew , no?