ESPN Deportes is reporting that Melky Cabrera is now off the free agent market, having signed a two-year $16m deal to play for the Toronto Blue Jays. Add Cabrera to the players that came over from Miami in this week’s Frankentrade and the Blue Jays have put together a lineup which may not necessarily be the best around, but is likely to at least be the most interesting.
SS – Jose Reyes
Assuming the Frankentrade is approved, and there seems little reason to think it won’t be, the Jays new shortstop should be leading off in 2013. Reyes is a strange player, one whose name value and recognition is often ahead of his production, but the low bar for starting shortstops means he can quite comfortably be very valuable even if he’s not an MVP candidate. It will also be interesting to see how Toronto’s turf effects Reyes’ legs over the next few years.
LF – Melky Cabrera
Cabrera will probably be less productive in the filed than he pre-suspension in 2012. Prepare yourself for plenty of ‘not so good when he’s off the ‘roids is he? type comments.
RF – Jose Bautista
Season ending wrist surgery for a power hitter is always concerning so it will be interesting to see if Bautista is able to immediately regain his home run stroke. It may take some time for him to get back to where he was power-wise or it may be instantaneous from day one, the nature of his injury makes it impossible to say one way or another.
DH – Edwin Encarnacion
Can he do it again? A career year that, for many, was a long time coming saw E5 reach career highs across the board so while he’s likely to be a bit below 2012′s numbers there’s reason to believe it wasn’t a complete fluke and he can still be a top level hitter.
3B – Brett Lawrie
After launching himself onto MLB by hitting .293/.373/.580 in his first exposure to the big leagues, Lawrie was something of a disappointment in 2013, hitting just .273/.324/.405. With the additions the club has made this winter there will be less expectation on Lawrie to carry the offence which may help him surpass this year’s numbers.
1B – Adam Lind
Lind may be running short on chances in Toronto but will probably open the season at first base. If he doesn’t hit, however, we could see Bautista replace him and Anthony Gose take over in the outfield.
C – Travis D’Arnaud
As things stand, JP Arencibia is top of the depth chart but it seems likely that D’Arnaud will supplant him next summer providing no setbacks in his recovery from ankle surgery. D’Arnaud will occupy a place near the top of this winter’s prospect lists and could well hit higher than this in the lineup and be a Rookie of the Year favourite.
CF – Colby Rasmus
In a similar situation to Lind in that he has to start justify his opportunities with better performances. He’s young enough to believe he can still become a solid everyday player but he’s only demonstrated that potential in brief flashes.
2B – Maicer Izturis / Emilio Bonifacio
If it’s Bonifacio there could be lots of stolen bases at the bottom of the order. If it’s Izturis they’ve got themselves a steady enough player to fill out the line up. Which may not be interesting enough for Alex Anthopoulos so expect a second base acquisition any day now.