Hinske To Beantown

I’m sure all of you have heard and read about the Eric Hinske rumors/reports. I’ve heard them, too. What I have yet to hear, though, is the official word that the Jays have indeed sent Hinske packing to the Red Sox. No release has been issued and Toronto is keeping quiet about the matter for the moment. This deal seems pretty much done, though.

Last night, Jays manager John Gibbons pretty much confimed the trade was on by saying, "Maybe something is in the works, but nothing has been completed." Hinske was still around after the game and he seemed to be as clueless about the situation as we all were. "Clueless," in this sense, meaning that we were all void of any information from Toronto’s side. Sure, there are lots of "sources" out there who are saying the deal is done, but no one from either Boston or Toronto has come out and said that yet.

What was funny about the whole situation was before the game. Hinske was starting at third and Troy Glaus at DH. This was nothing strange — Glaus has been battling a pair of beat up legs. The day before, though, we all asked Glaus if he’d be willing to DH more to help protect himself from injury and he didn’t like the idea. He likes playing in the field. So when Hinske was a late scratch, we all just figured Glaus said he was fine to play third base.

"Maybe Hinske has been traded," one Toronto reporter said. We all laughed — but it was a slightly nervous laugh because whenever somebody is a late scratch at this time of the year, a trade is definitely a possibility.

Plus, you have to take into account Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi’s pregame comments — made after the Schoeneweis trade was announced:

"We’ve got a couple irons in the fire right now, but no one that we think is going to stop us from keeping going forward here. If we make a move, it’s probably going to be a move that gives us some payroll flexibility going forward, but not at the expense of losing performance."

Well, it turns out that he was referring to Hinske (if and when this trade is made completely official, anyway). Hinske had quickly gone from 2002 AL Rookie of the Year winner to bench player for the Blue Jays. Just because he was riding the bench, though, didn’t mean Toronto didn’t have to keep paying him for that five-year, $14.75 million contract he inked before the ’03 season.

That’s been a contract that the Blue Jays have been looking to move for a while. The reality is — despite the kind of offseason spending you all witnessed before this year — that Toronto doesn’t have a lot of money to work with before next year. The payroll will remain around $75 million and a lot of that money is tied into contracts for Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, B.J. Ryan, Troy Glaus, and Vernon Wells. Any extra cash for next year helps, so any money that Boston will willingly take off Toronto’s hands in regards to Hinske’s contract is a plus for next year.

"We spent our money on the players who we thought would be here for a while," Ricciardi before Wednesday’s game " Signing B.J. and AJ — that’s where our money went. It’s not like we’re going to have that kind of money to do that again this year. So any money we can save this year enables us to put it towards next year’s payroll."

I think that’s the main thinking behind dealing Schoeneweis and Hinske. Some of you fans will take it as waving the white flag — especially since Hinske was moved to a division rival — and it’s hard to say that thinking is unjustified. But keep these questions in mind: Would Hinske and Schoeneweis have been the difference-makers in making a late run at the postseason this year? And think of how much a difference that extra cash can make for next year. Hard to argue with the moves.

NOTE: Instead of editing the whole dang post, I’m just tossing this item here. I wrote this entry a few hours before the deal went through. Hinske has been traded to Boston for a player to be named or cash considertations and Toronto recalled third baseman John Hattig from Triple-A. Hattig will become the first player ever from Guam to appear in MLB.

I’m wondering what all you fans think of Toronto trading Hinske to a division rival, when the Jays are just 5 1/2 games behind the Red Sox for second place in the division.

10 Comments

Since when does a team in contention trade someone to another team in the same division (vying for first place?) Be careful, Blue Jays, all Ricciardi ever wanted to do was turn your team into a Red Sox farm team. It’s been obvious all along where his true allegiances lie (just listen to that accent!)

It seems pretty obvious to me that with the moves of Schoeneweis and Hinske for players or cash to be named later is a sign that Ricciardi has thrown in the towel for this season. I’m gonna miss Hinkse, he is a class act. Good luck Jays, next year!

Other than the fact that they are dumping salary, why are they only accepting PTBNs. Do they know who the prospect is already that they want and they are just waiting so he doesn’t have to clear waivers? Or is it something else?

p.s. it doesnt necessacarily mean they are throwing in the towel neither hinske nor schowenweis were major contributors

While i am not completely happy saying goodbye to hinkse, i can understand where the move is coming from. Toronto needs some extra cash to work with next year, and hinkse hasn’t done what a lot of people had hoped he would do. I wouldn’t say that toronto is throwing in the towel, its just acknowledging that there is a season after this one and while they want to be competitive now they want to be ready to go next season as well.

The Jays were definitely going to get more now for Hinske than they would have got during the off season. The reason he went to the Bosox was because the Bosox were the team with the payroll room and the interest. Would another team have picked up as much of Hinske’s contract? The Jays are still paying a bunch of Koskie’s. As for Shoeneweis, he was always a specialist against lefties. With 3 other lefties in the bullpen, as well as a righty who’s hard on lefties, and Shoeneweis walking too many of the lefties he was brought in to face, I think it’s a good thing the Jays got something for him now instead of the draft pick they’d have got if they’d waited until the end of the season.

Here’s an interesting bonus thought: The Jays are 7-4 against Boston with 8 left to play, and 5-7 against the Yankees with 6 left to play. As a result, the Jays would have an easier time taking the division lead if Boston was there instead of the Yankees, both because they have more games against each other and because the Jays have a better record against them. (Both are even home/away splits, so there’s no field advantage in play against either team.) In other words, the Jays want to make Boston enough better that they can get a 4-1 or 5-0 series win against the Yanks this weekend (which would give the Bosox the division lead), without making them enough better that the Jays themselves can’t beat them anymore. Sending them a bench player (and a bunch of payroll) gets that job done nicely. Now, if Boston trades Hinske back to the Jays after the Yankees series, we’ll _really_ know something’s up.

This trade cannot come as a total shock to Jays Fans. Hinske gets used less and less and the Jays don’t need to be paying a bench player 4.5 million dollars a season. However, I believed that when Hillenbrand was traded he would have seen more time at D.H. Also, I was somewhat surprised to see his power numbers this season (9 doubles, 12 homeruns, 29 rbi’s) in only 197 at-bats. I was wondering if anyone knew whether the Jays were activley attempting to trade Hinske before the deadline so they could have gotten something decent for him. Finally,in anyones opinion who should be the D.H. for the rest of the year: Molina(when he’t not catching), Zaun or Catalanatto?

What short memories we all have!!! While Hinske has flashed some good wood and leather this year, his last two years were an extended sophomore slump. It was only after he saw his daily position lost and being placed in a platoon situation, did he feel enough pressure to invest his effort and actually try. Personally, I’m glad he’s gone, and I’m glad he’s had a banner season this year. It gave him more market value, and we are finally rid of the albatross that has stifled the BJ’s full use of better position players.
As for Schoenweiss, there’s another overpaid underperformer (of late) who we really don’t need given the decency of our bullpen (who frankly would have posted better numbers all season if our poor starting pitching (Halliday excepted) hadn’t needed to work them so hard all year.)

IMHO, I would like to see Reed Johnson and the Cat share DH duties when the other is fielding. Both have excellent contact numbers and can spray, with great numbers with runners in scoring position.

I think its a great idea getting rid of Hinske. J.P. in my mind seems to be making all the right moves. He is trying to get the most out of his money for this team. He will either get a player or cash for Schoenweis instead of nothing, and free up some more money that can be used for pitching or **** instead of Hinkse. Now for people thinking they are “throwing in the towel” The players that are going to get Toronto into the playoffs are not the players they are getting rid of. If Toronto has a hope of making the playoffs they are going to have to play their big guys most of the way out. Its a long shot, but the way things are going lately its still possible.

Yeah i too think that getting rid of hinske was a good move. Now this way we have more money for next year, so we have a better chance of signing wells and meche. We didn’t have a place to put hinske and the way rios is playing i wouldn’t want him out of the lineup almost every-other day. Also overbay is just a double machine and we can never replace glaus with hinske.

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