And So It Begins…
TORONTO – I had just warmed up a plate for of tacos when that dreaded little envelope popped up in the lower right-hand corner of my computer screen last night. So, my food returned to room temperature as I glanced over the e-mail that included the list of 57 free agents who had filed for free agency at the first possible moment.
Sure enough, Matt Stairs and Joe Kennedy were included on the list. The Jays have shown a desire to bring Stairs back, but they didn’t give a real good indication of where Kennedy stood at the end of the year. Kennedy made $2.8 million last year, and my guess is that if the Jays did decided to bring him back as a situational lefty, that could mean Brian Tallet is non-tendered. We’ll see. Tallet would be the cheaper option through arbitration.
As for Stairs, if the Jays can figure out a way to provide him with 300 or so at-bats, he’d probably re-sign. The last thing he probably wants is to have a healthy starting nine — has that happened before? — keep him sitting on the bench all year. Stairs has shown he’s worth more than $850K and that he can still pick it at first, roam the outfield, fill in at DH, come off the bench in a pinch, and at the end of the year he said he could even play third, if needed (Word is that TroY Glaus met with MLB about the ol’ steroid report last month).
I’m sure Stairs would love a two-year offer from Toronto, but can you really give a two-year deal to someone who will be 40 years old? Oh, wait. Frank Thomas will be 40 and he’s going to be around for two more seasons. I guess there’s precedent there. I think a one-year deal would be the wiser move, but Stairs might find other suitors after the season he just turned in.
With Stairs in mind, what do you loyal members of Blue Jays Nation think should be done in left field? Is Reed Johnson worth the risk of signing at $3 million or so after an injury-plagued, subpar season? Should the Jays explore another option via free agency (Shannon Stewart’s out there)? Is it Adam Lind time? Maybe a Johnson/Catalanotto-esque platoon is out there somewhere? Sound off…
And, man, did my fantasty football team ever blow it this weekend. I’m sick of these guys not showing up. I was 4-1 and in first place three weeks ago. Now? I’m 4-4. Peyton Manning can’t do it alone! I’m afraid some guys might be packing up their lockers today.