Despite re-signing veteran shortstop John McDonald to a two-year contract on Wednesday, the Blue Jays are still actively searching for a starter at the position. Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said McDonald’s role is “undefined” heading into the season.
Toronto has a free agent in shortstop Marco Scutaro, but Anthopoulos noted that talks with him have “stalled more than anything.” If the Jays do retain Scutaro, it would likely have to be with a one-year deal, according to the GM. That one-year deal likely means the Jays are only going to offer Scutaro arbitration.
Since Scutaro is a Type A free agent, the Blue Jays would receive two compensatory picks in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft if the shortstop declines the one-year arbitration offer and signs with a new team. Gaining Draft picks is tempting for a Toronto club that is in transition and looking to strengthen its farm system.
Anthopoulos added that he is still searching for a long-term solution at short, but the 2010 starter at the position will likely be via a short-term signing through free agency. Two options would be Miguel Tejada and Orlando Cabrera, who are both Type A free agents. Cabrera could fill the leadoff role vacated by Scutaro as well.