Two Tickets to the Gonz Show

Toronto, line up to get your tickets to the Gonz show.

The signing of former Red Sox and Reds shortstop Alex Gonzalez has capped off what has been an unusually active past few days for the Jays in the free agent market.

First they sign John McDonald to a reported one year deal as a stopgap solution at shortstop for 2010. Then it’s revealed that it’s actually a two year deal, then we find out that John McDonald will actually be the backup SS and that his role on the team is undefined. Now they sign Alex Gonzalez to a one year deal (with option for a second)


Gonzalez (or A-Gonz as I will probably call him) is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to the Blue Jays infield. At $2.75 million for one year and a $2.5 million option, the Gonzalez signing isn’t the biggest waste of money the Jays have ever spent on a shortstop. Just look back to 2008 when they paid David Eckstein over $4.5 million to stand out there between second and third base.

Speaking of Eckstein, I noticed that the Blue Jays have now successfully acquired both the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds left side of the infield in the exact same way. They traded to get Rolen from the Cards at 3B, and signed Eckstein as a free agent SS. Then they traded to get Encarnacion from the Reds at 3B, and signed Gonzalez as a free agent SS. I guess some people’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Those wishing to complain that a combined $4.25 is too much to pay for both McDonald and Gonzalez in 2010, how about these less attractive alternatives? Orlando Cabrera at a total of $12 million for two years, or resigning Marco Scutaro so some ridiculous three or four year deal upwards of $25 million? I’d rather take the Gonz/Mac combo, thanks.

Believe it or not, this was actually a very smart move which basically forces the hand of the Boston Red Sox. Now their only options are to overpay either Marco Scutaro or Orlando Cabrera, neither of which the Blue Jays were interested in. I tip my cap to you sir, Alex Anthopoulos. Well played, sir.

If anything, at least we can be reassured that nothing will make it past the defensive wall combination of J-Mac and A-Gonz. Consider them the new version of J-Mac and Scoots.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

16 thoughts on “Two Tickets to the Gonz Show

  • November 26, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I wish we could give Scutaro a 3 year deal, but it's too late now. Maybe he'll accept arbitration.

  • November 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

    Believe it or not, this was actually a very smart move which basically forces the hand of the Boston Red Sox. Now their only options are to overpay either Marco Scutaro or Orlando Cabrera, neither of which the Blue Jays were interested in.

    Excellent point.

  • November 26, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Entirely agree Ian. I like the fact that Alex is pulling a page out of the Kenny Williams playbook and setting up his own market. Also of note is that the Red Sox had an offer on the table with Alex Gonzalez worth 3 million but they told him that they were looking at other options before wanting to put it to paper….well, Alex Gonzalez must of been pissed because he signed with their division rivals instead at a 250,000 discount….it should bode well for how motivated he'll be to help us beat Boston, something we definitely need help with!

  • November 26, 2009 at 11:43 pm

    I forgot how much Eckstein cost. This doesn't seem as bad if you make that comparison.

  • November 27, 2009 at 1:55 am

    I think the final piece of the puzzle for the Blue Jays infield will be 1st base. While they may already have the piece in house, as fans we can not be sure which it is.

    Also, I have a feeling 3B isn't set in stone.

  • November 27, 2009 at 2:15 am

    In a sense, until King Roy is traded nothing "serious" can happen. AA will have to juggle both his balls and one of Beeston's when the pieces from that mega-deal come to the nest.

    I think there is a real chance that Roy's trade might turn into a multi player, multi team mega deal.

    Lets face it the Jays may be afterthoughts in the world of MLB – but – we're sure getting our share of off-season love thanks to Roy etc.

  • November 27, 2009 at 2:36 am

    in ref to 1B, I'm almost positive the Jays will give the Dopirak / Ruiz combo a chance. They're cheap, have power, and more importantly deserve a chance.

  • November 27, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Torgen, to be honest I'm not exactly sure what happens in the arbitration process – if Scutaro accepts, do the Blue Jays have to pay him? To me it seems like Scutaro is all but out the door at this point.

    Mat, I may be overestimating (or underestimating) Anthopoulos here, but as Orlando Hudson would say, it was a "pimp" move. Kudos to AA for not only locking up the SS position, but for also locking out the Red Sox on both Johnny Mac and Gonzalez.

    Mattt, there have been so many throwaway shortstops throughout the past 10 years that $2.75 million really isn't all that much to pay for Gonz. Given, 2008 was a different economic climate, but still $4.5 million was WAY too much to pay for Little Eck.

    Peter D, at least the question marks are filled in the infield. Whether or not Overbay makes it to Opening Day remains to be seen. A Ruiz/Dopirak combo wouldn't be too bad, actually.

    Mylegacy, if anything at least it's been nice to see all this media attention on the Toronto Blue Jays. If and when the Roy Halladay trade goes down, that will be the first domino to fall and then all hell will break loose. I like the idea of a multi-team trade because that doesn't limit the prospects to just one team – the Jays could pile up on the prospects while the others get most of the major league talent.

    Mat, I don't doubt that Ruiz and Dopirak can hold down first base – I doubt that Cito will LET them. If Overbay is still in the picture, the only chance Ruiz and Dopirak will get will be against lefties.

  • November 27, 2009 at 4:15 am

    Totally agree with this, but don't forget: Eckstein didn't just stand there between 2nd and 3rd, being plucky and gritty and a leader and stuff, he left a read, indellible mark when he CONCUSSED OUR BREAK-OUT STAR. I mean, I know it wasn't on purpose, but he did it. Think fangraphs can quantify that? $5.5M well spent. Wow.
    And some people are down AA's throat? C'mon.

  • November 27, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I remember when the Jays first signed Eckstein, and the phrase that kept coming out of people's mouths was "grit" – there was so much talk of it, that I think we choked on it.

    Every team should have a guy like that, but not being paid $4.5 million – at least the Jays traded him to the D-Backs at the deadline, and I don't think they had to pay his entire salary for 2008, thankfully.

  • November 27, 2009 at 4:39 am

    And on the Aaron Hill point, it was totally and accident … but in a way, maybe the Eckstein/Hill collision was a good thing?

    I think it gave Aaron Hill the extra time to train and condition, and maybe that's part of the reason why he played as well as he did this past year.

    So in a way, I guess I'm saying thanks to David Eckstein for knocking out Aaron Hill!

  • November 27, 2009 at 5:38 am

    Screwing the Boston Red Sox? I LIKE THIS.

  • November 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I hate to say it, but if the Red Sox get Halladay then we're back at square one.

    Oh well, good for AA on striking first!

  • November 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    If the Red Sox get Halladay, while I will go to Doc's return at the SkyDome and weep like a fucking baby when he takes the mound, I hope the Jays absolutely PUMMEL him.

  • November 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    No matter where Doc goes, I don't think I can root against him. Even if he's in pinstripes and facing the Yankees.

    A.J. Burnett on the other hand …

  • December 25, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
    And you et an account on Twitter?

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