Our Shortstop Worries May be Over
According to the New York Post, the Blue Jays are about to sign Cuban shortstop phenom Adeinis Hechavarria who is widely believed to be better than another Cuban shortstop, Jose Iglesias, who earlier signed with the Red Sox for $8 million. Though Alex Anthopolous wouldn't comment on the report as usual, there is too much evidence floating around from credible sources to believe that this is anything but true. If so, this could be the end to our shortstop problems even sooner than expected.
True to the mission of this blog to provide creative insight and analysis to the customary sports information, I will not try to best Mat Germain at Jays Journal who has done his usual bang up job of providing some really intuitive thoughts regarding our team's future at shortstop. Cudos Mat.
What Do Trade Discussions Look Like Now?
I recently posted with some suggestions for AA regarding taking advantage of the Cubs and Twins relief pitching injury problems to try and obtain a solid SS prospect. Several things have changed related to that discussion. The first is that the signing of Cuban SS Hechavarria, if true means we no longer have the same sense of urgency in looking for a SS with a large upside. The second is that recently, some of the other pitchers on both the Twins and Cubs have stepped up and have both teams considering internal solutions. The Twins in particular have an outstanding pitcher in Liriano who has the stuff to be an outstanding closer, the only concern is his make up. However, he could be an opening day solution and the team may let him pitch himself out of the job before looking at external solutions.
The external solutions discussion has recently turned to John Smoltz who purportedly still has enough stuff to fill in at closer if he would be willing to sign at a reasonable price. In the absence of any other offers at the moment and with the Twins post-season prospects looking good, Smoltz might be glad to sign for less with some incentives to have one last shot at the World Series. I see the Cubs as a more likely destination as a setup man and Chicago has a wider array of prospects that would fit the Jays.
Finally, Frasor had an ugly pitching line today giving up 4 runs. Let's hope he has an impeccable spring the rest of the way for one more outing like that would essentially eliminate any interest acquiring him.
Regardless, of who the trade targets on the Jays might be for other teams, it appears our prospect focus has, in one SS acquisition, shifted to OF or 3B. Keep it going Alex, you continue to impress in the way you are rebuiling this organization.