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Blue Jays GM says three spots open in 2013 lineup

Sep 12, 2012, 6:47 PM EDT

Alex Anthopoulos is looking ahead to 2013 and says six spots in his lineup are already spoken for:

Obviously, those entrenched players are J.P. Arencibia, Yunel Escobar, Brett Lawrie, Colby Rasmus, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

Second base is open because Kelly Johnson is a free agent. It doesn’t look like there’s much chance of Escobar moving to second next spring. Adeiny Hechevarria has hit just .237/.272/.329 with a 24/3 K/BB ratio in 76 at-bats since his callup, and there’s little reason to think he’d be an adequate regular at shortstop.

Likewise, the audition of Anthony Gose in the outfield hasn’t gone too well. He and Moises Sierra will likely return to Triple-A next year. Rajai Davis could stick around, but it’d be as a reserve. The Jays’ 2013 left fielder figures to come through free agency or in trade.

Encarnacion will either play first base or DH, depending on who gets brought in this winter. Adam Lind is due $5 million next season, but the team is probably done with him. Trading him for another similarly poor contract seems like the best option. 2008 first-round pick David Cooper did pretty well for himself before hurting his back last month, hitting .300/.324/.464 in 140 at-bats, but he looks like a fallback option at first.

The Jays possess a fine offensive nucleus, so if they can get a couple of legitimate upgrades, they’ll have a lineup to be reckoned with next year. As is, they currently rank 12th among the 14 AL teams in OPS from left fielders. They’re middle in the pack at both first base and DH, but that’s because Encarnacion has been terrific while splitting time evenly between the two spots. Their non-Encarnacion first base-DHs have been superior only to Seattle’s.

  1. cadillacjosh - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:59 PM

    i read Moises Alou at the top there. That would have been neat.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:44 PM

    Wrong Matthew. You have not been watching them lately. Both Gose and Hechavarria have played much better the second time around. (Hechavarria is now hitting better than Johnson.) Initially, they were lost in the majors, but this month, they have significantly upped their game. LF is a toss up between Davis, Gose and Sierra. Cooper or Lind depends on either spring training or whomever is traded. Big Mike McDade is also a possibility. The catcher will probably be d’Arnaud with Arencibia being traded for a starting pitcher. Alternatively, d’Arnaud would catch with Arencibia as the DH.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:46 PM

      I just don’t wear my rose-colored glasses when I watch them.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:08 PM

        I agree, you don’t wear your glasses.

      • paperlions - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:10 PM

        You are both right. They have been better…but they are still horrible.

    • thebadguyswon - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:54 PM

      What starting pitcher do you expect to haul in for JP Arencibia? Your team needs good starters, and JP isn’t bringing more than a #5.

      • paperlions - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:09 PM

        Hey, when you’ve got a chance to get a catcher with a career .275 OBP, and all you’ve got to give up is a starting pitcher, you’ve got to do it. (assuming the starting pitcher is a 27 yr old in A ball).

      • dondada10 - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:43 PM

        I don’t get the Arencibia hate. Sure the BB rate is low, but he’s still consistently in .700+ OPS range. There’s only about 10 or so catchers doing that in the bigs right now.

        You can teach a 27 year patience later in his career. As long as his recieving skills are good, I’d definitely take a catcher with a .217 career ISO.

      • paperlions - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:23 PM

        It isn’t hate…it is just a lot of outs. OBP is the most important factor when it comes to scoring runs. He’s about an average backup catcher.

    • cur68 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Now, now: ya’ll lay off PC. AA flipped Vernon Wells. Did you forget that? VERNON WELLS. For actual baseball players. You telling me he couldn’t get a decent starting pitcher for the likes of Arencebia (not that I want Arencebia to go, mind you: he’s gonna rake with the bat in the future)? IMO if PC thinks AA could flip JP for an SP, well my money’s on AA.

    • dondada10 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:52 PM

      Arencibia is available? I could see the Mets being very interested.

      Do you think a Jonathan Niese swap would be fair?

      • mt99808 - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:12 PM

        Ummm yes. In addition to his horrible OBP Arencibia probably also leads the league in pass balls called for strikes if there were such a stat. He’s beyond awful behind the plate.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:16 AM

      actually proudly nobody and i mean NOBODY cares about the bluegays so lets get that out there son. After that nobody and i mean nobody cares about Gose’s pathetic and i mean down right sad so bad just give it up average and on base % that either one of us can probably do just as bad kinda crap. I mean what you write is soooo sad ive come to the conclusion that you are not real and have many and i mean many screen names (since i never even met a bluegays fan in real life) that you are not real and probably a redsuks fan which is fine. Joke is on all of us hahahahha and lets just own up to what you are now son. A FAKE!! with that said this just in water is wet, the Yanks win a lot, the Vikings lose a lot of SB’s and nobody in canada cares about baseball just look at the numbers folks so good nite, good luck and take it easy..

      • cur68 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:53 AM

        Sweet Jesus Montero….that’s nearly unreadable. You drunk ‘harry or did they feed the chimps more stupid pills at your cage at the zoo? Look, do us all a favour; just shut up and go bathe, eh?

      • GordieDougie - Sep 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM

        You are literally too stupid to insult.

  3. randygnyc - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    I think next year the Jays will be in “wait and see mode” when it comes to pitching. I can’t see them trading away any of the few position players they have for pitching when they have so many arms likely to join the team after their surgeries. It puts them in a funny position of actually having to wait out the rehabs of these pitchers. They’re nor rebuilding, they have quality players, but they’re not just a few pieces away from contention, either. Kinda like hovering between heaven and hell.

  4. 24missed - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    Boston will happily take JP. We have some starting pitchers for you.

  5. saints97 - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    How long are they going to hold their breath on Lenny in CF? Sure, he’ll hit you some homeruns, but he does little else at the plate. Perhaps it wasn’t LaRussa and the Cardinals that were the problem after all.

    (If you are confused, read Of Mice and Men and then listen to Rasmus do an interview.)

    • jaysjunkie - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:22 PM

      LMAO @ “Lenny”. Did he have cornrows too?

      • dirtyharry1971 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:17 AM

        there is NO jays junkie, time to come clean son

      • saints97 - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:33 AM

        Nah, the original Lenny lived in the 1920’s. They didn’t know anything about cornrows then.

  6. jason9696 - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    No great loss if Kelly (strikeout) Johnson isn’t back. I can’t believe how often he strikes out. The only reason he didn’t tonight was because he didn’t play.

    • jaysjunkie - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:37 PM

      Yeah, Johnson can’t leave town fast enough for my liking. Watching him and his K’s this season has been like a kick in the balls when you see what Aaron Hill has done in Arizona.

      • saints97 - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:29 AM

        And yet his K rate isn’t much higher than Lenny’s this year, and is better over their careers.

  7. jaysjunkie - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    The d’Arnaud/Arenecibia problem is a nice one for the Jays to have and it should prove to be one of the more interesting ones to watch over the off season for this team. I can’t see them letting J.P. DH, though…his skills as a catcher have improved majorly this season and I can’t see him liking that. And having a catcher (d’Arnaud) who hasn’t played a single inning at the MLB level anchor your pitching staff is a pretty risky move for a team that thinks they’re legit contenders (or just shy of legit). I’m okay with Rajai in LF next season…he’s a better bet than the kids IMO.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:22 AM

      nice lies there junke boy, the jays are not even CLOSE to being a contender!! not today, not tomorrow, not 10 years from now, its been what now? 20 years since you did what?? yea goodnite scumbag!!! jays are by far the most overrated team in baseball cause nobody cares and wants to play there, bye bye!!

  8. cur68 - Sep 13, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Holy crap. If there’s a responsible person that reads this blog and knows dirtyharry, can you please check on him? He’s totally lost his shit. Someone must have slipped ‘ludes in his bananas or something. What a freak show.

    • jaysjunkie - Sep 13, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      I can’t imagine he ever had his shit to begin with. Even if he replies to one of my posts I don’t bother reading it any more…the guy’s just too predictable and idiotic.

  9. cshearing - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Sorry cur, but WTF are you talking about? He’s always been the same idiot. I see nothing new, just predictable bile, He actually used to rile me up, but now he’s easily ignored.

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