The Blue Jays' curious decision to non-tender veteran backup catcher Raul Chavez leaves me feeling disappointed, and perhaps a little troubled.
I have to admit to personal bias here and admit that Chavez was one of my favorite players to watch last season. I know, I know - "how can you say that about a backup catcher with limited offensive skills?" Simmer down - I'm getting there.
Chavez is just a grinding professional - a baseball lifer who knows his skill set and does whatever it takes to help a club win. It seems silly to feel nostalgic about a one-year Blue Jay who got into a whopping 51 games and posted a sparkling .285 OBP.....but still, I kinda do. I'm not saying it's a defensible position to take - but he was a fun guy to watch. Animated catchers with a propensity for the snap throw are full of win in my books.
So that's the disappointment.
"What troubles you?", you might be asking? I'm troubled because the Jays are now left with zero catching options on the major league roster, which indicates a move is likely imminent.
If it's a move to consummate the rumoured Accardo for Doumit deal, then count me in. I'm down. But - and you probably know where I'm going with this - if non-tendering Chavez is a precursor to an Angels deal (on which I've made my feelings pretty clear), then yeah, I'm troubled.
Come on Phillies - step up.
Hey Accardo - you don't call the shots 'round here
So the Jays essentially told Jeremy Accardo to go to hell by tendering him a contract. Really, the notion (floated by Team Accardo) that the Jays should give him a "fresh start" was, well, ludicrous. Accardo is a guy with value who will be under control with a team-friendly contract, so the Jays were never just going to wave goodbye.
This will end one of two ways: he's dealt before the spring, or he spends the season at the back-end of the Jays pen (or shuttling between Toronto and Vegas). For everyone's sake, let's hope it's the former.
The Jose Bautista Appreciation Society renews all memberships
Of course, I've yet to apply.
I like him enough as a bench player, capable of standing in against LHP (check the splits - nice), but I'm absolutely terrified at Cito's (already stated) plan of plugging him in everyday at the top of the order.
Is this what we call "building" in the mind of The Manager?
Check the list and tell us what you think.
Matt Capps would be an obvious bullpen boost, but he's sure to be in demand. Jack Cust is a name that jumps out, but is he more of a Ricciardi-era guy than an Anthopoulos-era guy? How about John Buck for one of the holes at catcher?
(Update......well then, that's what trying to bang out a morning post will get me. Chavez back on a minor-league deal (makes sense) and Buck in the bag for 1 yr/$2M. Oh, and Gathright finally signs, too. So, yeah.....dial back the Angels alert.)