Lining Things Up

I’ve been a little too busy to blog lately, but I have a free moment and thought I’d give an update. I’m sure most of you saw the article I wrote the other day on the Vernon Wells situation. Toronto has set a "flexible deadline" of about a month or so for negotiating a contract extension with Wells. After that? Toronto could a)look into trading Wells or, b) keep him and just hold off on discussions until during the spring or during the year. If they can’t reach an agreement, it doesn’t necessarily mean the Jays will trade Wells, but the club will surely at least entertain offers.

So now we wait. Toronto could still look at some of the free agents out there, but in the current market, it might make more sense to explore trades. The Jays could offer Dustin McGowan or some other young pitchers. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Adam Lind or Reed Johnson’s names in trade rumors either. And teams will definitely inquire about Alex Rios, but it seems very unlikely he’d be dealt. The Jays needs at least one starter. If Wells is traded, Toronto would also need an outfielder — corner outfielder would work fine because Rios can play center. Dodgers and Mets have been rumored teams.

On another subject, it’s getting to the point where we can start guessing what Toronto’s lineup could be. The only spots really in question seem to be the No. 2, Nos. 6-8 spots.

Gregg Zaun might be a good fit for the two hole because of his ability to get on base and he is a switch hitter. He doesn’t move that great around the bases, though, so maybe Lyle Overbay — the only other lefty in the order — might be a better fit. Aaron Hill’s style of hitting might be best suited for the No. 2 spot, too, though. Rios has hit there in the past as well. For argument’s sake, I’ll put Zaun in the No. 2 spot and then the other slots fill out themselves.

So here is one possible lineup:

1. LF Reed Johnson, R
2. C Gregg Zaun, S
3. CF Vernon Wells, R
4. DH Frank Thomas, R
5. 3B Troy Glaus, R
6. 1B Lyle Overbay, L
7. RF Alex Rios, R
8. 2B Aaron Hill, R
9. SS Royce Clayton, R

If Rios picks up where he left off last season, Wells-Thomas-Glaus-Overbay-Rios is quite an impressive row of hitters. What are some lineup thoughts that you all have? Get those posts going…

29 Comments

At the beginning of the off-season, I was all for trading Vernon Wells, because I was fed up with the way he seemed to disappoint in the clutch.

However, after the Frank Thomas signing, I reversed my thought process. It became clear that Vernon Wells was a perfect fit for the order.

I would really like to keep Wells but in reality, he may cost too much for the Blue Jays to resign at the end of the year, and if he doesn’t sign an extension, I think that he should be traded.

I would be thrilled if Ricciardi could manage to fill out our rotation without giving up any of our outfielders (including Lind) in trades. I don’t mind trading any of the young pitchers, because I am not certain that any of them have particularly bright futures.

Thoughts?

I love Zaun’s OBP and switch-hitting ability in the two-hole, not to mention overbay, but I think Rios should bat second.

If Rios can bat around .300 (of which there is a very good chance) his OBP will be high enough, and more importantly he will benefit from all those extra fastballs hitting in front of Vernon Wells more than Zaun would. Rios’ speed looks good there too!

The patient veterans (Zaun, Overbay, Glaus and Thomas) are better off down the lineup with more RBI opportunities albeit with less protection.

I think that Overbay and Glaus should be switched in positions. Overbay had a great year at five-spot last year, and that way there is only two righties in a row in the power part of the lineup. If that were the case, then rios would have to bat after glaus to a)scare pitchers into giving him pitches and B) knock him in considering his OBP.
Second, I see that the White Sox may be looking to trade Tom Garland for some younger talent, and I am wondering if thats a possibility at all. His contract is hefty, 22 million over two years, but maybe worth it?

I like Hill at second because he sees lots of pitches. Plus, he better speed than Zaun. Rios is more valuable at the 7.

Why would Jays need a major league outfielder in a trade back from Wells? They look like they have one in Lind already. He can take left and Johnson can slide into centrefield. Jays seem to be deepest in outfield prospects as well.

I say one major-league arm, one pitching stud prospect, and maybe relief or SS prospect for Wells.

I agree with Zaun second. OBP is definitely key in the early slots. You don’t need to be able to run fast when the guys after you are hitting homers, which is definitely how this team is built. Plus, if Zaun’s power numbers last year in his limited plate time scale up to full-time this year, that’s going to be even more runs scored for Johnson.
If you put Rios in front of Overbay then Rios can use his speed to score from first on a double. If Overbay makes an out, then Rios can think about stealing second, since Hill is more of a singles hitter and you’re not going to take the bat out of his hands the way you would if he stole in front of one of your big hitters.

i personally like

Johnson

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Overbay

Glaus

Hill

Zaun

Clayton

I know that overbay before glaus is a bit unrealistic but glaus hasn’t really impressed me. Overbay had a great year last year and that with no one else hitting behind him. If glaus is hitting behind him he will get more better pitches which he could easily hit for doubles scoring in wells, rios or johnson and thomas if he gets on base. Glaus could then bring in overbay. I think that zaun is too slow to be second and he isn’t a 2nd place hitter.

In regards to the wells situation i say sign him. If you can’t come to an agreement then trade him. This would be the best time to do so. I like the trade with the angels or the mets. Mets would be better for us since they aren’t in american league and we won’t have to face wells. If wells gets traded then probably overbay would move to 3rd to fill his spot and then …

Personally I like Alex Rios batting second. When he was in the second hole last season he seemed to produce a little better. Greg Zaun has a fantastic OBP but I like him lower in the order. My lineup would look like this

Johnson

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Glaus

Overbay

Zaun

Hill

Clayton

With this lineup everyone has a bit of protection. Rios will see alot of good pitches ahead of Wells while Overbay and Zaun give great protection to the middle of the order. And if Wells does get traded I wouldn’t mind seeing Rios hit in the three hole. He has speed and his power is starting to come around.

You want to split up Overbay and Zaun as the only left-handed/switch hitters in the order.

My opinion would be

Johnson

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Overbay

Glaus

Hill

Zaun

Clayton

As it was already mentioned, you want to split the lefties/switch hitters. You don’t want to have your left handers back to back in the order, as it helps to separate to get the pitcher off a groove.

To me, I hate the idea of trading Wells, he is the main key guy of this ball team right now. I know we now have a lot of great players, but Wells is too good to lose. I think there is too much more to come from him. However, if he doesn’t sign an extension, then by all means, he should go. Although his gap in center will be hard to fill, we have the backup to make a decent replacment.

Still need that starter though

Putting Overbay up second would work too. His OBP was .370 last year.

My opinion would be..
Johnson

Rios

Wells

Glaus

Thomas

Overbay

Hill

Zaun

Clayton

I wouldn’t put Thomas at clean up just yet, let him prove himself first and putting Glaus and Thomas back to back you get back to back power and with Wells infront and Overbay behind you have potentially the best line-up in the majors.

Here is my early prediction for the 25-man roster come spring training (and lineup)- barring a Vernon Wells trade.

1)Reed Johnson, LF

2)Alex Rios, RF

3)Vernon Wells, CF

4)Frank Thomas, DH

5)Lyle Overbay, 1B

6)Troy Glaus, 3B

7)Marcus Giles, 2B

8)Gregg Zaun, C

9)Aaron Hill, SS

1) Roy Halladay

2) A.J. Burnett

3) Gustavo Chacin

4) Mark Redman

5) Paul Byrd

1)B.J. Ryan

2)Brandon League

3)Jason Frasor

4)Jeremy Accardo

5)Scott Downs

6)Brian Tallet

Bench

C Toby Hall

C/1B Jason Phillips

IF Royce Clayton

IF Jason Smith

OF Matt Stairs

TRADES

To LA: Prospect for Toby Hall

To CLE: Shaun Marcum + John McDonald for Paul Byrd

Not to be rude but how the **** did marcus giles get here. Also I don’t think that the jays should sign redman. THey should go after weaver, suppan or mulder (although he might also get overpaid). BUT FIRST PRIORITY IS SIGNING WELLS.

The Braves decided not to offer Giles a contract making him a free agent as of 12/12/06. To be honest I’m not to high on Giles. He is average at best defensively and his offensive numbers have dropped in three straight seasons. Aaron Hill is going to be a very good 2nd baseman so I feel moving him away from the position would just hinder his development. Also, there would be no need to trade for Toby Hall because he also became a free agent today. I also feel the Jays need to resign Wells. When you have a franchise athlete you need to treat him well and keep him around. These types of players don’t come around very often. There are alot of new free agent on the market as of today including a few good pitchers. Joel Piniero has had a couple of tough years but at only 28 years old he still has alot of upside. I also wouldn’t mind seeing the Jays go after Suppan a little more aggresivly and maybe even Jeff Weaver. I know Weaver is about as inconsistent as you can get but he is a high risk- high reward type of player. Mark Redman is an option but if you are going to go after that type of player I feel you should probably give one of your youngsters a shot at making the club.

I’m a beleiver of things happening for a reason. The Jays not signing Meche or Lilly could turn out to be a good thing. They would have been overpaid and we can now do things with our leftover money that may not have been possible before. Hopefully Wells can be brought back for 3-5 more years as we have a very solid core of players that we can build around for a few more years. If we can aquire one more pitcher it would be desirable. If not then its going to be a big risk going into next season with what we have. But with all risks there are rewards. If McGowan can get going and slot into that 3rd spot, with his stuff I think he would be a better option than either Lilly or Meche. Marcum in my opinion is a capable 5th starter. He showed us last year that he can command his fastball slider and changeup. Its just a matter of consistancy, if he can go out there and spot those 3 pitches on a regular basis he will be effective. As it sits right now we will have to rely on someone from the group of finge players to step up, Fransico Rosario, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Casey Janssen, Ty Tabenheim, or maybe even Davis Romero. As they will make the difference of this team being contenders or average.

I will bet money that our opening day lineup will look like this, barring injuries or trades.
Johnson

Hill

Wells

Thomas

Glaus

Overbay

Rios

Zaun

Clayton/Smith (whoever shows up at spring training)

I have a feeling Hill is going to have a great year. No doubt in my mind he is capable of hitting .310 with 10 HR’s.

I kind of wish we could have kept Lilly, however his price is too high. But Chacin has a good chance of getting that third spot, and Marcum and McGowan did show that they can have what it takes, its just a matter of how long will it take. Aside from that, we still don’t have any idea how the talks with Wells are going, keeping him, in my opinion, is the most important thing right now.
The middle infield still looks a bit foggy, even though we know for sure that Hill has second base to his own. However, how much do we play Clayton/MacDonald/Smith at SS. Overall I think Smith would work out best defensively, so I think he will edge out the others to be the primary starter there.

Marcus Giles?????? Where on earth would anyone get the idea that the Jays would look to sign him? Hello?? Hill IS the starting 2B, no doubt about it now. Once Wells is determined (signed or not) PITCHING will be addressed.

I’m going with the same as Jordan on this one. I agree it would be nice to have Zaun a little lower in the order, but unless Adams or Smith pull of a minor miracle by earning a starting middle infield job AND prove that he can hit (not very likely), or Lind blows everyone away at Spring Training to earn a starting job over Johnson, Rios or Thomas (REALLY not likely) you have to have have a lefty somewhere other than just 8 and 9.

I see why some of you would like to have Glaus hit clean-up and Thomas in 5 but with Overbay (the double machine) in 6 you can’t have the Big Hurt (emphasis on “big”) lumbering in front of him. Glaus moves a little faster and can score from second or maybe first on an Overbay double. Thomas can’t.

Catalanotto was a good number 2 hitter, right? Compare Overbay’s stats to Cat’s. OBP is very similar and AVG and SLG are higher. Maybe Overbay doesn’t have as much speed, but when you hit a double you don’t need to steal second.

I am assuming that Wells stays and Johnson is traded in a package for pitching help.
Rios RH

Lind LH

Wells RH

Thomas RH

Glaus RH

Overbay LF (switches with Glaus against lefties)

Hill RH

Zaun SH

Clayton RH

I am assuming that Wells stays and Johnson is traded in a package for pitching help.
Rios RH

Lind LH

Wells RH

Thomas RH

Glaus RH

Overbay LH (switches with Glaus against lefties)

Hill RH

Zaun SH

Clayton RH

It seems that since McDonald was resigned, there is hardly any chance that Marcus Giles will play for the Jays.

You have convinced me that we are better off staying with the stuff we have than going after a second baseman whose team just dumped for unknown reasons.

What do you think about the Wells offer today?

I like the offer. It puts Wells in a class with many of the great in the game. i feel it is about time wells was mentioned in the same sentance as Arod, Soriano and so on. He’s one of the best in the game. I also feel it will make a big difference with the way some of the free agents look at Toronto. If they are willing to pay the money to keep Wells around they are obviously committed to winning. That could be the difference between getting a good pitcher and losing one. Maybe Suppan or one of the other good pitchers left out there will consider Toronto as a more viable option because they are showiwng that commitment.

i agree with thumbing my way. V-Dub is a superstar, when all this trade talk was going i was ready to start rooting for the **** bosox or yanks, thank god i dont have to. on another note, MARCUS GILES IS NOT A GOOD PLAYER. JP knows his stuff, any of the three guys platooning at short is a thousand times better defensively than the weak giles, not to mention that Aaron Hill is 4 years younger, hits for a higher average, strikes out less, and is also a much better defender than giles. giles has a little bit more power, but hes a free swinger, we have enough of those already, glaus, thomas, wells. we need more patient hitters like gregg zaun, and i think aaron hill will develop into one of those players. Keep up the good work Jordan!

According to Foxsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, Wells is “close” to signing the seven year deal worth 126 million. It will include no trade protection and an opt out clause after year three or four. he will still be paid 5.6 million next year.

now that is a relief. glad to have wells locked up through ’14

It’s a lot of money for sure but salaries are only going to go up. In 7 years it might seem as good a deal as 5.6 does right now.

I think paulmartin has a good lineup there. Assuming of course Johnson is traded (which would not make me happy) and Lind is ready.

I really don’t like trading Johnson. You need a guy like him at the top of your order. He sees alot of pitches, gets on base and has decent speed. His fielding is exceptional out in Left. That is where we would miss him the most Lind is a great hitter, but Johnson really solidifys our outfeild. As much as I like how Lind can hit, we NEED pitching, and we also have Travis Snider coming up who is comparable to Lind (corner outfeilder with a great bat). So to me one of them could become expendable in return for some good pitching. I think we go after a pitcher with a reptuation, someone who we know will come in and win 15 games for us. Offer them Lind, and a pitching prospect such as Rosario, or Janssen.

But good job on the jays for going after Wells, we can find a way to fill our holes without creating anotherone if we traded him.
Unless something goes terribly wrong looks like he will be a bird for a few more years.

1.Johnson
2.Rios

3.Wells

4.Thomas

5.Overbay

6.Glaus

7.Hill

8.Gaun

9.Clayton(as it stands now, hopefully we get someone better.)

I even think Overbay might even bat 4th just for the sake of having a left hander in the top of the line up.

Starters:

1.Roy Halladay

2.A.J. Burnett

3.Gustavo Chacin

4.Mark Redman

5.Jeff Suppan

I think the key for the jays this offseason to sign redman and suppan and not trade rios. If they do sign both of those pitchers i believe they stand a great chance of making to the playoffs.

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