Jays still looking for starting shortstop

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.

–JB

2 Comments

No doubt somebody is going love today’s signings, but they basically leave us where we were — good defensively at shortstop at worst — at best, Gonzales cat hit 30 pts higher for average than his counterpart, JM. Hopefully, we can obtain a long-term solution to SS by trading DOC; that said, I am reading in different articles that teams are reluctant to offer blue-chip prospects. Teams agree that he is worth the prospects, but apparently feel that the Jays must trade him (or let him walk for 2 picks), so the Jays are dealing from a position of weakness. In general, I see the sense in this argument. However, if you have multiple teams that are serious, this should not be a problem for Antho to overcome. As long as he keeps his hand close to the vest, one team will likely panic and part with the prospects. I just hope that it happens sooner than later. The longer this drags out, the weaker the Jays’ hand is. Also, I would NOT require MLB pitching in return. For example, if the deal is with Boston — forget about Bucholz but demand Casey and a couple more prime picks from AA. What we must get for Roy is a potential star player. We do not want to get fleeced as the twins did with Santana. We need at least one true blue-chip prospect coming back, that we can control for the next 5 years.

Hopefully, Scuturo gets the message and signs elsewhere. Those picks look good.

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