Is it Brent Morel or Brett Morel? I can never keep this straight. Yet I probably should pay a little better attention to the Jays’ nondescript December waiver pickup from the White Sox, because — not to put a damper on the odd excitement I’ve seen around here for the possibility of re-acquiring Emilio Bonifacio, who was D’d FA by the Royals the other day (and might actually work as an extra outfielder, though we’d obviously be leery of it, for reasons awesomely addressed by Jack Moore at Getting Blanked earlier today) — the more I look at what the Jays have here, the more I think it may have been a sneaky-good one.
It’s not an game-changer by any means — it’s more in the Erik Kratz category of potentially sneaky-good winter moves — but there is actually more to like here than I think we’ve given the player and the club credit for during the last month of not-giving-a-shit-that-we-have-Brent-(or is it Brett?)-Morel.
Morel has a good defensive reputation, albeit at third base. I’m not going to try to claim that he’s another Ryan Goins, but when MLBTR passed along word of his addition, they noted that when he was a prospect — 85th in baseball, according to Baseball America, heading into 2011 — he’d been praised as an “intelligent defender with a quick first step.” The Jays, according to a tweet from Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670theScore.com last week, have asked Morel to move from third to second base for the upcoming season, and that’s where things get even more intriguing…
If he can successfully make the transition to the middle of the infield, the Jays will have themselves a versatile right-handed bat who has been very strong against left-handed pitching in his career. Or, at least during his career in the minor leagues.
Think about that.