NEW YORK — And it’s those rules, so to speak, that are keeping Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi from shedding some light on all the Matt Stairs rumors. Well, “all” is an overstatement. Basically, Stairs is going to the Phillies, but the Blue Jays can’t say so just yet.
No word on what the hold up is, but Ricciardi tiptoed around the topic today.
“If you’re guessing that it could be in the state of Pennsylvania,” Ricciardi said, “I’m not going to tell you you’re wrong. But, I’m not going to tell you anything else.”
Word is that the Jays are to receive Minor League left-hander Fabio Castro. Again, no confirmation from any Toronto types about that either, though. It looks like this trade will probably be finalized tomorrow.
Ricciardi did confirm that he’s talking to the Angels about a possible trade that could send one of John McDonald, Marco Scutaro or David Eckstein to L.A. The Halos are in dire need of a shortstop and have two days to trade for a guy in order to have him eligible for the playoffs.
As for the other development here, young Travis Snider was in the starting lineup for the first time in his career. He was able to fly some family and friends out from Washington on short notice to catch him in his first big-league game, in Yankee Stadium, in his first-ever trip to New York, for that matter.
Jays manager Cito Gaston started Snider in left field tonight. He and Lind will probably shift in and out of left and the DH spot down the stretch. Ricciardi said the Jays want to see if they can potentially solve their need for a DH in 2009 with this combo. Otherwise, there’s always free agency.
Snider is typically a right fielder. In fact, he hasn’t played left at all this year, according to Ricciardi. But, in his first game in the Majors, Ricciardi didn’t want him fighting those all-too-common rookie jitters between at-bats in the dugout as the DH today.
“This way, somebody can throw a battery at him or swear at him,” Ricciardi joked. “Keep his mind off the game.”
Snider was obviously excited to see his name in the Blue Jays lineup for the first time, even if it was spelled “Snyder.”
“It happened in Triple-A, too,” he said, shaking his head and managing a slight laugh. “Hey, it could be a lot worse.”
TORONTO (68-65) at NEW YORK (71-62)
at 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Scott Rolen, 3B
Travis Snider, LF
PITCHING: RHP A.J. Burnett (16-9, 4.58)
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 Carl Pavano (1-0, 5.40)