Clarifying Clarence’s Choices
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While I haven’t necessarily agreed with every single decision Cito Gaston has ever made, I’ve made a sincere effort to understand there is a method to his madness.
One often wonders what’s going on inside that 66 year old head of his, especially when it comes to roster moves, in-game decisions or lack thereof.
With just under a week until the 2010 season gets underway, Clarence and the coaching staff have started to whittle down the non-roster invitees and the regulars into the Opening Day 25-man roster.
Are we overreacting to Overbay?
Ideally, Lyle Overbay would not be the starting first baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays this year. If Adam Lind ends up being the full-time designated hitter, Overbay as the full-time first baseman would potentially be taking at bats away from Randy Ruiz.
I don’t think it was a statistical decision as much as it was a political decision. It was rumoured Overbay was one of the players who spearheaded the mutiny back in November, so my theory is this was a decision to keep Overbay happy during the final year of his contract.
Some are speculating that it was to raise his trade value, but even if Overbay puts up a decent first half, I think the Blue Jays will have a tough time finding any suitors for him at the trade deadline … especially a team that’s willing to pay the approximate $3.5 million left remaining on his contract.
Unless someone is looking for an above average fielding first basemen with a decent OBP, the Jays shouldn’t expect to get the same kind of haul they received from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Scott Rolen.
Another reason for announcing Overbay as the starting first baseman is management is giving him the chance to play out the year so he can build his own value as a free agent.
It sounds like a crazy thing to do – help a player build their own worth so they can earn a contract with another team, but I think that’s just the kind of guy Alex Anthopoulos is. He’s an intelligent businessman, but he also gives the players the kind of respect they deserve.
The Sausage King claims his throne as closer
The “announcement” was about a week late, but Cito finally indicated who will be the closer for the Blue Jays this year, and it will be none other than Jason Frasor.
I believe this decision was made for two reasons; Frasor is the closer because simply … he’s the best man for the job. As Cito stated, Jason Frasor hasn’t done anything to lose the title of closer.
Secondly, by announcing Jason Frasor as the official closer for the team, inherently he will draw interest from clubs who could be in need for a ninth inning guy somewhere down the road this season.
Personally, I thought Cito would lean on Kevin Gregg as the closer because he has the most experience closing out games. Now it appears Gregg and Scott Downs will duke it out to see who will be the setup man.
It’s just proof that if Clarance makes enough decisions, eventually he will get some of them correct.