Somewhat lost in the recent Scott Rolen lovefest was the fact that J.P. mentioned repeatedly, and with more immediacy and certainty than the old: “well, we’ve got a few balls in the air and you’re always looking to improve your club” standby, that the Jays are working on a deal to improve their bench. When pressed for details, Ricciardi did not seem to be talking about the need for a backup catcher.
But…but…the bench is full! So any move would involve shipping someone out of town as well. It’s not Stairs, because a little lefty pop is probably the #1 thing the Jays need off the bench. And moving Reed is highly unlikely as well.That leaves us with the obvious (and largely ignored even by the anti-J.P. goon squad) situation that we have two fringe major league starters, McDonald and Scutaro, being paid about two million dollars to sit on the bench. Barring some sort of serious injury to a middle infielder, one of those guys is going to see next to zero playing time and that role could just as easily be filled by one of Olmedo/Inglett/Adams (as was the plan coming into this offseason).
On the other hand, the Jays have nobody who could play a passable third to back up Scott Rolen — probably the biggest injury risk on the team. If Rolen goes down even for 50 games, that’s just way too playing time for Scutaro and Adams at the hot corner. So my guess is J.P. is thinking about shipping one of those guys out of town for someone with a little more lumber.
Not to cause too much of a panic, but several times now he’s referred to the liking the bench core of “Stairs, Johnson and Scutaro” without mentioning Mac. I hate the idea because Eckstein and Mac are polar opposites, but maybe J.P. is unwilling to dump Scutaro after trading two players for him.
Anyway, here’s where this post mumbles into it’s lapel and then leaves the room suddenly. I have no idea who the other half of the trade could be. Brandon Inge is desperate to get out of Detroit now that he’s behind a future first-ballot HOFer, but he’s way too expensive and the Tigers already have a reasonable backup shortstop in Ramon Santiago. Did I mention that Erik Hinske is a free agent? …