Bautista joins the Blue Birds
TORONTO — The Blue Jays have acquired infielder Jose Bautista from the Pirrsburgh Pirates in exchange for the well-traveled player to be named. No word yet on what sort of role Bautista will be filling with Toronto.
My guess is that this is simply a move to add some insurance at third base. Toronto is without Scott Rolen (left shoulder) and it’s not clear when he’ll be back, and utilityman Marco Scutaro has been the regular at the hot corner.
At Triple-A, Toronto’s depth at third base isn’t exactly strong. There’s Hector Luna, Sergio Santos and a handful of others. Adding Bautista seems to add a little more depth — not a bad idea if Rolen will be out for much longer.
UPDATE: 6:26 p.m. — So manager Cito Gaston was no-committal about saying Bautista would step in as Toronto’s regular third baseman, but it wounds like he’ll be getting regular playing time, especially against left-handed pitching.
Bautista is under contract for $1.8 million this year and is contractually controllable for the next three years. He wasn’t in Toronto yet, but was expected to be with the club in time for the weekend set against the Red Sox. No corresponding move has been made to clear room on the roster, but it would appear that Kevin Mench is the odd-man out, though David Eckstein could potentially be a candidate.
Toronto put in a claim on Bautista and then worked out a deal for the third baseman. The Jays now have six months to complete the trade, according to GM J.P. Ricciardi. Toronto’s GM added that he’s still monitoring the waiver wire daily to see if there’s any other options, considering that the Jays are still on the outer edges of the playoff race.
NEW YORK (67-59) TORONTO (65-61)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre
Johnny Damon, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Bobby Abreu, RF
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Jason Giambi, 1B
Xavier Nady, LF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Ivan Rodriguez, C
PITCHING: RHP Sidney Ponson (3-2, 4.50)
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Matt Stairs, DH
Rod Barajas, C
John McDonald, SS
PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay (14-9, 2.64)