So long Stairs -

So long Stairs


For those of you still paying attention…it’s over for the Toronto Blue Jays.

As I mentioned at the all star break, it was basically over by the end of July. Losing the series against the Red Sox last week essentially pulled the plug, and back-to-back tough losses to the Rays has slammed shut the door of the morgue.

Today the Jays shipped Matt Stairs to the Phillies for a minor leaguer to be named later. Good for Matt. He’s a professional hitter, a consummate team guy, and a future hitting coach in the majors. At age 40, it’ll be nice to see him take part in a pennant race. His numbers were a bit of a disappointment this year, but every time I went to the ballpark, I hoped he was in the line up.

But his departure means it’s really time to start thinking about next year. The Jays desperately need a big bat, since it’s starting to look that 20 homers is all you can hope for from Rios and Wells, and Rolen’s days as a power hitter are over (though he remains a very useful player and a decent bat in the 6 or 7 slot). I like Overbay, but you can’t have Rolen and Overbay on the corners for another season, producing 25 home runs and 120 RBIs between them.

On the upside…Purcey’s start the other night made me think, for the first time, that he might be able to ease the sting of losing Burnett in the off-season. IF McGowan can come back (a pretty big ‘if’) then a rotation of Halladay, Marcum, McGowan, Litsch and Purcey, might just work. But much depends on McGowan and Hill returning to form in time for next spring training, and bringing in a genuine run producing bat in the off-season.


So long Stairs

  1. If they were somehow to land Teixeira for $20M per, I promise I wouldn’t complain about ticket and beer prices at the Rogers Centre ever again…

  2. My sources say Frank Thomas will be available next year.

  3. You keep quiet Frisco, or I’ll sick the beantowners on you again.
    Teixeira would be just what the doctor ordered, but there will be huge competition for him. BUT if you’re losing $11 million salary from Burnett, and replacing him with an internal promotion (Purcey) it’s conceivable. Overbay is due to make $7 million next year. so, if you dropped him for prospects, you’d be at $18 million available to throw at Teixeira. Still a longshot, but a guy can dream.

    How’s this:
    Inglett SS
    Hill 2B
    Rios RF
    Wells CF
    Teixeira 1B
    Lind LF
    Rolen 3B
    Barajas C
    Bautista DH

  4. How’s this for an idea? See who wins the World Series MVP this year, sign him to a $4.5 million deal, and then use him exclusively as a pinch runner…

  5. I think it’s more likely that Toronto works that Gord Ash connection and deals for Cecil’s y’un, Prince. May cost you a Purcey and a Snider plus, but I’m thinking his bat at the Skydome would be frightening, never mind at the buffet table…

  6. Frisco – Who’s been the bigger bust Eckstein or Rentertia? Think on that bucko.

    and Dan – it’s not a bad thought, but are there budget problems in Milwaukee that I don’t know about? The Brewers are contenders now. I don’t see them rushing to drop stars for prospects.

  7. re: Prince Fielder, I’m still not sold on vegetarian power hitters.

    Although Inglett has been solid, I’m a big fan of McDonald at short. He doesn’t give you a lot at the plate, but his defense is sublime, and he’s proven he can hit for enough average if he’s in there full time.

    It’s only fair to give Bautista a few more at bats before making a judgement on his value, but I don’t like what I’ve seen so far.

  8. I’ll concede, Steve. Renteria has proven to be a bust, especially since the guy the Tigers gave up in return—22-year-old right-hander Jair Jurrjens—is 11-7 for the Braves. At least the Jays can chalk up the Eckstein signing to bad judgment (and too much wine) and move on. The Tigers will be reminded of that lopsided deal every time Jurrjens pitches a gem in Atlanta.
    As for the Jays, Johnny Mac should be the guy at short. No, he’s not a great hitter, but Toronto’s bat problems go a lot deeper than the shortstop. If Mac can hit .250, his glove will do the rest.
    Can’t wait for spring training…

  9. Yes – I’d take Johnny Mac if he could hit .250. My trouble with him is that he’s a career .238 hitter, and .251 is his career peak.
    Love his attitude, but to me, he’s a late-inning defensive replacement.
    Snider might be a better option than Bautista. Not sure yet.

  10. For what it’s worth, Bautista is a career .238 hitter…

    I’m looking forward to seeing what the callups can do, but given that Snider was playing AA as of yesterday, they probably can’t count on anything substantial from him until 2010, or midseason at the earliest.