Well that didn’t take long. The World Series ended last night, I’m told, and today the Jays were already getting down to business.
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) October 31, 2013
Yes, the Munenori Kawasaki Era may already be over, though that’s not necessarily going to be the case, as Davidi explains:
Lind will earn $7 million, Janssen $4 million and DeRosa $750,000. Kawasaki would have earned $1 million, but may still return on a minor-league deal.
So… yeah, I don’t know. All of those moves seem pretty obvious to me. Lind and DeRosa will make for a nice DH platoon combo, with DeRosa being able to spell the odd infielder from time to time, continuing his bang up job babysitting Brett Lawrie, and otherwise just kinda being awesome. Janssen, obviously, continues to be surprisingly terrific– so much so that his terrificness should have probably stopped being a surprise by now– while Kawasaki looks a whole lot better off the 40-man roster than on it.
OK, maybe not a whole lot. But better, I think.
Yes, yes, I know that everybody loves the guy– and for good reason. And I even think he’s a guy who is quite a bit better at the plate than some of his numbers– particularly the ones that penalize him for his utter lack of power– might indicate. Which isn’t to say that anyone ought to be quick to write off that element of his profile as a hitter, but he takes good at-bats and is able to get on base via the walk, so I don’t think he’s quite the detriment to your lineup as he might seem when you hear a thing like “.634 OPS.” But he’s still, as the roster is currently constructed, behind Reyes, Goins and Izturis as far as shortstop depth goes, and behind Goins, DeRosa and Izturis at second base, with another player surely yet to be added. Even assuming the club can somehow find a taker for Izturis, it’s pretty hard to justify paying Kawasaki that much to take up a spot on the club’s 40 man roster.
With Ricky Romero and Mike Nickeas being outrighted in early October, Darren Oliver retiring, Rajai Davis hitting free agency, and the club now declining Kawasaki’s option– which, frankly, I didn’t even know he had (it’s not on Cot’s, FYI)– the Jays currently have, by my count, 35 players on their 40-man (assuming they keep Josh Johnson), with seven guys on the 60-day DL still to be added back on. Or at the very least six, assuming Ramon Ortiz won’t be retained.
Sure, they could have bumped a Mickey Storey or a Thad Weber off the roster to keep Kawasaki, but with other new players sure to be added, new prospects needing to be protected from the Rule V draft (that is… I assume, though I’m too lazy to go look up who is in such peril), and the potentiality of keeping Kawasaki on a minor league deal anyway, it maybe wouldn’t have been prudent asset management to keep him and pay him $1-million, knowing he’s almost certainly not going to make the club (or at least not get much playing time if he does), and that maybe there are better options out there for him.
That said, if the club had kept him and paid him a million bucks, would I have been complaining? Not likely. I’d still like to see him stick with the organization, and wouldn’t be upset if he managed to earn the 25th spot on the roster, either, depending on how it all eventually shakes out. But I get this one, and get wanting to shift the resources to somewhere other than someone who could– and frankly probably should– ultimately end up the club’s fifth-choice option at both middle infield spots. Right?