Jon Heyman has the official word on the coming-to-fruition of what Ken Rosenthal was sniffing around last night…
Maicer gets $10M for 3 yrs plus club option. #jays
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 8, 2012
However, there’s a slight hiccup: Shi Davidi says Heyman doesn’t quite have the accounting right:
Three sources indicate #Jays will sign Maicer Izturis for numbers similar but not exactly the $10m over 3 yrs + club option being reported
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 8, 2012
That could possibly change things, but the fact that Davidi is telling us it’s “similar” probably means we don’t have to change much of how we think of this… which is rather positive, frankly.
(UPDATE: A team release announces that the deal is for three years at $3-million per, with a $3-million option for a fourth.)
I covered a lot of stuff on Izturis last night, noting that what’s coming our way is a decent defender, capable of playing second base, third base and shortstop; a switch hitter who was slightly below average against right-handers last year, and who has generally been a very decent hitter against lefties, though he was atrocious this year; a guy with some much nicer OBP seasons a few years ago, but who’ll still get on enough to (sadly) look decent at it among the Jays lineup.
I get the sense that the Jays might be looking at Izturis as a cheap option to start for them at second base , rather than in a utility role where most would agree he’d be ideal, but I think that’s OK– especially because he’ll be able to easily slide out of the role if Adeiny Hechavarria proves he can hit in an environment resembling most of planet earth (well, Buffalo, but you know what I mean).
And even if that doesn’t happen, or Hechavarria ends up as the club’s shortstop because Yunel Escobar gets moved, or if the cost of doing business was a promise he’s the starter, I’m pretty sure it’s still a nice little pickup. Izturis barely costs more than Mike Aviles would have through arbitration, but as a switch hitter comes with the added benefit of not needing a platoon partner, and if he find the level of success against lefties he had prior to 2012, and maintains the average-ish (for the position) bat against right-handers, he’s a solid, if unspectacular, piece.
In a comment on last night’s piece @BFullmer_Fan makes an astute comp:
Interesting comparison I just noted between two FA 2B, one of which will surely get much more than the other based on his most recent season. It’s striking how similar they’ve been offensively in their careers.
Player A is Izturis. Any one want to make a guess as to who Player B is?
Player A career: 8.2 BB%, 10.7 K%, .108 ISO, .297 BABIP, .273 AVG, .337 OBP, .381 SLG, .318 wOBA, 94 wRC+
Player B career: 8.7 BB%, 10.8 K%, .116 ISO, .297 BABIP, .276 AVG, .340 OBP, .391 SLG, .324 wOBA, 95 wRC+
No, it’s not anywhere close to a signing that’s going to immediately resurrect all the good will the club pissed away over the course of 2012, but it’s just the first of many moves that the club is going to have to make this year– so, for the love of fuck, stop wondering if this is their “big signing,” or at the very least stop saying it in the vicinity of me. And it’s also quite potentially a tidy piece of business, given the dearth of better second base options on the market, not to mention the cost, the versatility of the player, and the possibility Izturis is quite a bit better than he showed last year.
Plus… um… how long has it been since this team had an actual switch hitter? (Hint: Zaun Cherry probably knows the answer).