Toronto Blue Jays Off Season Report
- Updated: December 2, 2008
Season Wrap Up
The 2008 season found the Jays in 4th place behind the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees, but was not without its highlights. The pitching staff, despite injuries toJanssen and Halladay (to begin the year) and McGowan for good parts of the year, were still the best in the MLB with a 3.49 ERA and .19 points better than the next best team (Dodgers). Unfortunately, swapping 3BGlaus for Rolen wasn’t part of those highlights as he struggled in his first year in Toronto.
Holes to Fill
The only holes to fill would be in the rotation if they don’t resign Burnett and at DH, but there are a few position where they could improve. One of those positions would be catcher, there’s a reason the Phillies let RodBarajas go. Although SS McDonald (67 games at SS) is probably an above average fielder, they could use a better bat from the position than someone who hit .210 with 1 HR, 18 RBI and anOBP of .255 and this can be done by Scutaro (56 games at SS) who hit .267 with 7 HR, 60 RBI and an OBP of .341. Also, they did recently purchase the contract of SS Angel Sanchez and optioned him to AAA so he may be a back up and they might try to move McDonald, but that’s just my opinion.
The Blue Jays have 4 players hitting the free agent market this off season. Pitchers A.J. Burnett (31, a type A free agent) and John Parrish (31), RF Brad Wilkerson (31)and C GreggZaun (37). In my opinion, I think that the Yankees have a better chance of signing Burnett or else he wouldn’t have opted out of his contract. If they do not resign Burnett nor replace him with another quality starter, then they might resign Parrish as insurance. They will probably let Wilkerson walk and if I were them, I’d try to bring backZaun if the money’s right. A platoon of Barajas and Zaun wouldn’t be a bad thing given the catching situation in baseball these days.
While I don’t see the Jays surpassing the Red Sox or the Rays, they could possibly catch the Yankees depending on how well the Yankees do rebuilding the team and if the Jays resign Burnett or replace him with someone comparable. I see their pitching staying within the top 5 in baseball, but they need to improve offensively in order to move up in this tough division. Rios regaining his power stroke would be a blessing, but it won’t be enough. They need more production from their infield, too.