Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos apparently decided that he owed something to his frustrated fanbase by re-signing fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki to a minor league deal on Christmas Eve.
The infielder’s big personality proved to be his greatest attribute during a frustrating 2013 campaign in Toronto. Although he does have the ability to make fellow teammates laugh in the clubhouse while putting smiles on the faces of fans, he doesn’t strengthen the baseball club on the diamond whatsoever.
Anthopoulos’ offseason has arguably been more disappointing than the previous Blue Jays season altogether. He has failed to pursue any attractive free agent options while trying to create package deals with other clubs and being ignored on every occasion. He hasn’t been able to strengthen his starting pitching rotation, and even with the Kawasaki signing, there is a tremendous hole at second base when it comes down to offensive production.
Just because Kawasaki is a good person to have around in the clubhouse doesn’t mean that the ball club is going to benefit from having him there. The 32-year old Japanese born player is constantly joking around while putting up nothing but laughable numbers at the plate. In 2013, Kawasaki hit .229/.326/.308 and still managed to be the guy everyone wanted to interview after the game whether the Blue Jays won or lost.
This is a phenomenon that is very hard to understand, especially when it looked as though the Blue Jays organization was finally committed to winning.
This type of signing is a slap in the face to Blue Jays fans and players who are serious about wanting to win and wanting to win now. Kawasaki will not put up good numbers for the Blue Jays this upcoming season, and his urge to constantly entertain his teammates and fans will prove to be costly for the Blue Jays, as he will create an atmosphere that will ultimately lack any sense of urgency to win ball games on a daily basis.
With this below-average signing, Anthopoulos continues to fail at getting his priorities straight this offseason. The Blue Jays also continues to climb down the success ladder, as other clubs are continuing to improve their teams both offensively and defensively while the Blue Jays are only receiving victories of the moral kind.
The Kawasaki signing serves as a feel-good story for a typical Blue Jays fan, but for those that want to see their team win and play postseason baseball, it is a massive slap in the face.