OK Blue Jays, You Need to…

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Leave Gregg Zaun and Rod Barajas alone; promote Brian Jeroloman and Curtis
Thigpen

 

The Blue Jays need to
decide whether they are going to re-sign Gregg Zaun,
and pick up the 2009 option on Rod Barajas’s
contract. 

jeroloman.jpg

The Jays should do neither,
and move on with new catchers.   If I
were Cito Gaston, Brian
Jeroloman
(24) and Curtis Thigpen
(26) would be the two catchers that would start the regular season.   I’m aware of the awful season Thigpen
experienced, but it’s better to let Thigpen rebound, than paying Barajas $2.5
million next year.  Jeroloman (right) doesn’t
offer that much power, but he can certainly hit, as he had a .396 OBP in New
Hampshire (AA), and a .421 OBP with Class A Advanced Dunedin in 2007.

 

thigpen.jpg

As for Thigpen , he had a
solid year at Syracuse in 2007, with 3 dingers, and a .348 OBP in 50
games.  He got called up to Toronto
where he struggled (.294 OBP, 0 HR), but was expected to make a serious contribution
in 2008.  Unfortunately, it was a
different story.  He started back in
Syracuse, and he only managed a measly .267 OBP with three homers in 361
at-bats.   I still believe Thigpen can
turn out to be a solid backup catcher in the major leagues.  So, if given a chance to play behind
Jeroloman, Curtis will be able to either prove me wrong or right next
year.   I’m confident he can rebound
from his tough 08 campaign.

 

Trade Shawn Camp to the Red Sox for Zak Farkes

Trade Jason Frasor to the Angels for Sean Rodriguez

 

Camp (below) and Frasor were
both valuable to the Blue Jays in 2008, but with the depth of the Toronto
bullpen, there are both the odd men out of the 2009 bullpen. 

shawn camp.jpg

The 09 pen is going to consist of B.J. Ryan,
Jeremy Accardo, Brandon League, Scott Downs, Jesse Carlson, Brian Tallet, and
Brian Wolfe.  I truthfully have no idea
what will become of Casey
Janssen
.  It’s just my gut intuition
that tells me they should hang onto him. 
And also because, well, he’s really good. 


Anyway, unless someone
gets injured, the Jays are going to need to trade Camp and Frasor, as they are
both too good for AAA.   Frasor has a
much higher trade value than Camp, but both are going to fetch prospects of a
reasonable quality.  

farkes.jpg

I think the perfect
trade involving Camp would be going to the Red Sox for third base prospect Zak Farkes.   Farkes (right) isn’t that big of a prospect, but he
plays a position that Toronto doesn’t have a lot of depth in, plus he provides
some power.  I’d say Farkes has the
potential to at 20 home runs a year, and maintain an acceptable .OBP, although
it will never to be above average.  Farkes
isn’t a huge acquisition, but remember, it’s Shawn Camp he’s getting traded for.

 

frasor.jpg

The Frasor trade is a much
higher impact deal.  Frasor (left) can fill the
role of the 6th inning set-up man/middle reliever, similar to his
role with Toronto.  If K-Rod actually
stays in LA, then Frasor’s role will lessen, but seeing the small odds of that
possibility, Frasor should only be behind Scot Shields, Jose Arredondo, and
ex-teammate Justin Speier in the bullpen pyramid. 

 

If this deal is made, the
Jays suddenly have their 2009 starting shortstop.  Sean Rodriguez
crushed the ball in his 66-game stint with AAA Salt Lake.  Here his stats:

G     OBP     AB     HR     RBI     SB     BB     SO     SLG     OPS

66  
.397    248    21      52      
4       29     
45    .645   1.042

 

Yes, he struggled mightily
with the Angels:

 

G     OBP     AB     HR     RBI     SB     BB     SO     SLG     OPS

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59   .276    167     3        10      3       14     55     .317     .593


Yet, he’s still only 24
years old and has a very high upside. 
In fact, the more I look at Rodriguez (below), the more I think about how much
better he is than Jason Frasor.   I
still consider this an even trade for both clubs involved, though.  The Angels could use one more arm in the
bullpen; an arm just like Jason Frasor.

sean rodriguez.jpg

With former first rounder Kevin Ahrens
moving to third base permanently (he had a bad
first season
anyway), the Jays have zero shortstop prospects.  With Rodriguez at short, the Jays wouldn’t
have to play John
McDonald
or Marco
Scutaro
everyday and let the new
acquisition
play up to his full potential in the majors.  I’m sure that the Pacific Coast League
helped his power numbers a little, yet Rodriguez still has 20-homer power.  If demoted, I would have been slightly
interesting to how Rodriguez’s power numbers held up in the more pitcher
friendly International League.  That
small thought was shot down when the Blue Jays moved their Triple-A affiliate
from Syracuse to Las Vegas, but that’s no big deal.  Rodriguez should, without a doubt, be the starting shortstop in
Toronto.  That it is of course, if this
trade actually happens.

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8 comments

  1. welikeroywelikeroy

    Thanks for the comment,

    A lot of Blue Jay fans are waiting on the upside of J.P. Arrencibia at catcher right now. He hit .282 with 27 homers and 109 RBI’s between Dunedin A and New Hampshire AAA. He is only 22 now, but most agree that he will be the Jays catcher of the future.

    Going with Thigpen and Jerloman to start the season is an interesting idea, but I kinda liked how Barajas handled the pitchers last season. He was apparently very good with them, and definately an upgrade defensively than Gregg Zaun (whose arm is dying with age).

    I’d like to see a positon battle between Jerloman and Thigpen for the 2nd catcher spot come springtime. Throughout the season the Jays should mark the progess of Arencibia in AAA, for possibly stepping in at a very young age.

    With the Yankees beefing in (and flashing the cash) in the offseason, the Rays and the Red Sox getting into the ALCS and loss of A.J. Burnett/Shaun Marcum looming. The next couple of years look like a big challenge for my Jays. Taking a risk on a guy like Sean Rodriguez may be worth it, especially if it would only cost a middle reliever, like Camp or Frasor.
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  2. districtboy

    Yeah, I”m sure the Jays are hoping that Arencibia can be the starting catcher by 2010. 2009 maybe the year that Jeroloman and Thigpen compete for the back-up role in 2010. Advantage: Jeroloman. It may have been a typo, but New Hampshire is AA, not AAA. Yes I agree, it will be interesting to see what Arencibia can do next year, but it looks like he’ll start back in New Hampshire. He had only managed a .304 OBP last year after his promotion.

    Aaron
    http://districtboy.mlblogs.com/

  3. welikeroywelikeroy

    I apologize for that typo, New Hampshire AA.

    I think the Jays are in position now to incorporate some youth at catcher next year. Between Jerolman, Arencibia and Thigpen, one of them is going to impress enough to be on the big team.

    I hope Arencibia is not a bust, we gave up on Robinson Diaz and the Jays have made a considerable effort to draft catchers in the past. So far, J.P. is hitting .167 with a homer in 6 at bats in the Arizona Fall League. Probably doesn’t tell us anything.

    I agree that Arencibia would be better suited for not Syracuse (your Nationals new AAA) or Buffalo (Mets) next season but Las Vegas kinda weird the Jays are now in the Pacific Coast League, and that means either Jeroloman or Thigpen should be on the roster to make room for him in AAA. I was hoping the Jays were in Buffalo, cuz im only about an hour and 15 minutes away from there.
    http://homerfoodandhistory.mlblogs.com/

  4. districtboy

    Yeah, it is weird that Buffalo was taken by the Mets and not the Jays. Oh well, New York is New York.

    Anyway, since it looks like the Jays are going to pick up Rod Barajas’s option for 2009, it’s down to Jeroloman or Thigpen for the back-up role. Jeroloman deserves it more, but something tells me that Thigpen may get it. After all, Thigpen was considered a top prospect two years ago, plus they may be reluctant to give it to Jeroloman because he basically skipped AAA (75 at-bats). I could see how it would be appealing just to give it to the bigger name, and let Jeroloman take his year at AAA. But when it gets down to performance in the majors next year, I think you have to give it to Jeroloman.

  5. Joe

    I agree with promoting Brian Jeraoloman, but I think Curtis Thigpen needs more time. Since Barajas is such a bargain, they should pick up his option and have him be the backup. I don’t think the Angels would trade Sean Rodriguez for Frasor, because he is just a 4.00 ERA guy throughout his career. But these are just my thoughts.
    http://allbaseballallthetime.mlblogs.com

  6. welikeroywelikeroy

    Aaron,

    Looks as if you are right about Thigpen being inline for the backup role. http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20081010&content_id=3608301&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor

    I personally think we don’t lose that much, giving him a look at catcher. Zaun has been inconsistant over the past two seasons, and it also seems that age is catching up with him.

    I don’t rate Barajas as being an outstanding catcher option, but it will be interesting to see what he can do with a full season starting behind the plate.

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