The Dark Knight – kind of made me think of Alex Anthopoulos over the course of the last week especially when you think about how Batman played the villain, but in actuality was the hidden hero. Anthopoulos is definitely getting villainized right now, rightly so I might add, however there’s no telling what he has in mind. By all accounts, he’s set his targets on some players to trade for or sign via free agency – all of which are up in the air until he can talk to agents following Tuesday’s start to free agency.
Flexibility is one thing that every beat reporter, and Anthopoulos himself, is pointing at as one goal to accomplish this offseason. However, trading Lind away for likely a long reliever is hardly ideal, especially how he’s been an asset the last two years. True, his back has landed him on the DL several times and Anthopoulos has talked about having players who are consistently healthy. It’s too bad his roster doesn’t possess much of those position player types though.
I understand the benefit in dealing Lind frees up occasional DH time for Reyes and any one else who’s hurting or needing rest. With Reyes at DH, one of Encarnacion or Lind would have to sit due to their positional inflexibility. Still, it pangs me to say I wish Reyes was capable of playing his position adequately and the need to spell him at times wasn’t necessary. Then Anthopoulos could have kept his core intact in the middle of the lineup. (Cue pent-up anger).
From a blogger’s perspective, the Orioles and Athletics appear to be two organizations to try and model the Jays after. The A’s utilize platoons that create roster depth and flexibility. The O’s as well had flexibility all over the diamond with good depth too (not mediocre like the Jays seem to have) to cover all their injuries. The thing is though, how many platoons can you reasonably have? As things stand now, the Jays have platoons lined up in LF, CF, 2B, DH or 1B (depending on where Encarnacion plays); that equals too many weak players in my book.
In terms of tradable solutions, I look at the Dodgers who could potentially offer 2B or 3B or RP help via trade in return for a Happ or even Buehrle conceivably. Similarly in Cleveland, there’s talk of moving someone like a Bourn, Kipnis or Chisenhall, so possibilities might pop up there. Pittsburgh too has a logjam at first base where Pedro Alvarez could be available, but I think Toronto now wants to target more contact type players who put the ball in play as opposed to being prone to the dreaded K.
As much as I dislike the Jays picking up Justin Smoak while still keeping Juan Francisco on the roster, the off-season has just begun. Anthopoulos still has time to turn himself from villain to hero.