Sunday, December 13, 2009

No love for Chavy

The Blue Jays' curious decision to non-tender veteran backup catcher Raul Chavez leaves me feeling disappointed, and perhaps a little troubled.

I have to admit to personal bias here and admit that Chavez was one of my favorite players to watch last season. I know, I know - "how can you say that about a backup catcher with limited offensive skills?" Simmer down - I'm getting there.

Chavez is just a grinding professional - a baseball lifer who knows his skill set and does whatever it takes to help a club win. It seems silly to feel nostalgic about a one-year Blue Jay who got into a whopping 51 games and posted a sparkling .285 OBP.....but still, I kinda do. I'm not saying it's a defensible position to take - but he was a fun guy to watch. Animated catchers with a propensity for the snap throw are full of win in my books.

So that's the disappointment.

"What troubles you?", you might be asking? I'm troubled because the Jays are now left with zero catching options on the major league roster, which indicates a move is likely imminent.

If it's a move to consummate the rumoured Accardo for Doumit deal, then count me in. I'm down. But - and you probably know where I'm going with this - if non-tendering Chavez is a precursor to an Angels deal (on which I've made my feelings pretty clear), then yeah, I'm troubled.

Come on Phillies - step up.

Hey Accardo - you don't call the shots 'round here
So the Jays essentially told Jeremy Accardo to go to hell by tendering him a contract. Really, the notion (floated by Team Accardo) that the Jays should give him a "fresh start" was, well, ludicrous. Accardo is a guy with value who will be under control with a team-friendly contract, so the Jays were never just going to wave goodbye.

This will end one of two ways: he's dealt before the spring, or he spends the season at the back-end of the Jays pen (or shuttling between Toronto and Vegas). For everyone's sake, let's hope it's the former.

The Jose Bautista Appreciation Society renews all memberships
Of course, I've yet to apply.

I like him enough as a bench player, capable of standing in against LHP (check the splits - nice), but I'm absolutely terrified at Cito's (already stated) plan of plugging him in everyday at the top of the order.

Is this what we call "building" in the mind of The Manager?

Interesting non-tenders
Check the list and tell us what you think.

Matt Capps would be an obvious bullpen boost, but he's sure to be in demand. Jack Cust is a name that jumps out, but is he more of a Ricciardi-era guy than an Anthopoulos-era guy? How about John Buck for one of the holes at catcher?

(Update......well then, that's what trying to bang out a morning post will get me. Chavez back on a minor-league deal (makes sense) and Buck in the bag for 1 yr/$2M. Oh, and Gathright finally signs, too. So, yeah.....dial back the Angels alert.)


Jeff said...

I think that any move being made by this club forward has to contribute to the the next Jays team that ideally contends (2013-2015 hopefully). Is it realistic to think that Buck or Doumit contributes to the 2014 Blue Jays or helps develop the pitching staff for that time? I think the answer needs to be yes before making that sort of move. I think Chavez would be a very good thing for the staff (but acknowledge his service time would've caused him to be overpaid for something I think you can get for the minimum).

A quick google search of "Is Ryan Doumit a good defensive catcher?" brought up "If you want to save 50 runs, don't let Ryan Doumit catch".

So if they think Buck is going to help the young pitchers now with an outside shot of being a part of a winning 2014 Blue Jays team, I'm down.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'm more than a little surprised to find us without a single catcher on the major league roster at this point. I'd like to believe that's part of a master plan, but it's too early in the AA era to have that much blind faith.

In terms of non-tenders, how about a Ryan Church or Kelly Johnson to fill part of an outfield hole?

Bruno Van Rottweiller said...

@ Jeff ,when you say 2013-2015 you worry me. You meAN when Baltimore will be good along with the Yankees AND the Red Sox? I hope that try to be ready for 2012 AT THE LATEST BECAUSE the fans will be abadoning the team in droves with each succesSive year of rebuilding. I say it with shades of the Emperor's New Clothes...rebuilding. Said rebuilding has to yield didvidends sooner rather than later quite frankly becaiuse the stands will look like Landshark stadium in South Florida, come 2011, which it already is starting to look like.

The Chavez move was idiotic. The team stocks up on two Shortstops when they have a young pitching staff AND need an experienced catcher to guide that staff. They really need two(one starter and a backup)catchers. If they go for Olivo, they will pay through the nose given the market. Instead they made a big mistake. so far aa's moves have been middling at best, it was incumbent on him to solidify the catching position above everything. Instead, Bautista is brought back!! They couldn't get another role player like Hairston for about 1.5 milion etc so on?

Ack, Capps will be eaten up by one of the big boys. Philly will probably grab him......Accardo could be an asset on this team BUT because the inmates ran and possibly still run the asylum, a guy who saved close to 30 games a couple years ago is on their shit list!

Ty said...

Looks like Chavez is back after all -- Bastian says they signed him to a minor league deal, along with Joey Gathright.

Bautista also signed for $2.4 million, which I'm pretty sure was the same amount he made last year -- so at least he's not getting paid more than $3 million like most of us expected. I like Bautista, I just hope Cito doesn't try to play him ever day in the leadoff spot like you said.

Anonymous said...

Chavez re-signed to minor league contract, John Buck signed for 1 yr/$2MM, as per MLBTR.

Joanna said...

I just liked watching Chavez play D. A catcher who can throw guys out. Imagine that.

Tallet's 'stache said...

Yeah, I like Chavez too. He's kinda of like Sal Fasano but a little better (read: but less bad).

Peter Gentleman said...

Hey Jeff, it kind of hard to build for 2015 with so few 15-year-old free agents to sign.

Mark said...

So nontendering Chavez is a brilliant move considering now they don't guarantee him anything beyond his minor league contract. Which is exactly what you should be doing with guys who are easily replaceable (read: Backup catchers). If anything, it would have been idiotic to tender him a contract. You don't give a 36 year old with 680 career at bats a guaranteed contract.

The Ack said...

I never said it was a dumb move....I thought I was fairly clear that I was just disappointed to see him go. Anyway, all's well that ends well. Or something.

Mark said...

Oh, and I forgot to add the best part of the deal.

If Halladay's traded for a catcher, Chavez sticks in Vegas and Buck backs up. If Halladay isn't traded for a catcher, Buck starts, Chavez backs up. Either way, the Jays are covered and don't have to wait around to see what happens with a trade for Halladay.

Jeff said...

The farm system is pretty dry, full of early round draft picks not progressing and lower ceiling prospects holding down the fort..barely. The organization's next 5 years will be strongly affected by this year's draft (up to 6 picks in the first and sandwich round). I don't think contention before 2014 is a realistic goal since you won't get too much help from the farm in the next 2 years. When Zach Stewart is your best prospect, there's not much there.

plain_g said...

i like the buck move. he was highly touted once (centrepiece of the beltran deal), and is reasonably young. he's one of those guys who someone that doesn't follow KC (like me) tends to see coming up with a clutch hit. i also love chavy's snap throws and excitable nature. he makes me feel like the pitchers are in good hands once a week.

Steve G. said...

I agree with Mark's take on backup catchers. Unless you're going after a guy like Redmond, back when he was good, it should ALWAYS be a minor salary guy. There isn't a million dollars worth of difference between Olivo and Chavez and even Ausmus.

I like the Buck signing at one year, $2 million. Before he went to the black hole of suck known as Kansas City, he was a decently regarded catching prospect. Maybe with a new hitting coach and organization working with him, he can recapture some of his potential as a low-average, high-power catcher.

eyebleaf said...


Buck and Chavez are a good stop-gap. J.P. Arencibia will be a star. He better be a fucking star.

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