Nary a tear was shed among the faithfuls of Toronto Blue Jays nation when the team lost Brad Emaus to the New York Mets in December’s Rule Five draft.  Three months later, the former New Hampshire Fisher Cat and Las Vegas 51 is set to become the next starting second baseman for the Metropolitans.

When his main competition for the role, Justin Turner was demoted to Minor League Camp, the disappointed middle infielder had this to say:

I’m sure Brad is feeling pretty good about himself right now.

So, did the Blue Jays make a mistake in leaving Emaus unprotected?

Put simply, yes.  While the latest edition of the New York Mets roster isn’t as difficult to crack as a Class TXTL-60 safe, and not everyone is sold on the soon to be 25 year old, the Blue Jays were holding on to a number of options that were far more expendable than a young second baseman who put up a combined .847 OPS in Double A and Triple A last season while getting on base almost 40% of the time.

Was protecting Scott Richmond as the team’s 10th ranked right handed reliever really a necessity?  Did Mike McCoy really offer anywhere close to the amount of upside that Emaus did?  The answer to those questions should have been “no,” and the Mets, presumably acting on the advice of J.P. Ricciardi who drafted Emaus to the team in the 11th round of the 2007 draft, did well to spot him as an available target.

Comments (18)

  1. Yes, that move looked dumb at the time. The only thing I can think of is maybe he can’t play D. Or ir may be they had Jackson and Hecchy and McKoy ahead of him in the depth chart and just cut the guy a break so he could try somewhere else.

    Let’s see where he is in July.

  2. His power was a product of great hitting parks, plus they have Lawrie, who in a year will be better than Emaus is.

  3. Letting Emaus go (if he is who he seems to be, at least) seems to go so wildly against AA’s apparent strategy that I can’t help but think there must have been some other reasoning behind it. Either they’re certain that he won’t stick as a legit major leaguer, or there’s something else going on.

    The whole purpose of the Rule 5 draft is to give opportunities to players who are talented enough to play in the MLB somewhere, but can’t find any room in their current organization to do so. If the Jays really had no intention of ever giving him a shot at the MLB level, then maybe this is just an example of AA going out of his way to build Toronto’s reputation as an organization that “treats its players right,” as he said on the radio yesterday? I know that sort of seems like ass-backwards reasoning but it makes sense on some level, I think.

  4. Which is just a really long way of saying that maybe this was just AA being a nice guy and giving Emaus a shot since he was never going to get one here, y’know?

  5. Lawrie is set for third base. Hoffpair and Crabbe played the most games at 2B last year in AAA and AA. Not exactly inspiring. Even worse when you look at McCoy’s projections. It’s not a team breaker, but definitely not thinking about that extra 2% either.

  6. I get the treating players right mantra, but you don’t give up on a piece of talent to prove a point.

  7. What about Taylor Buchholz? I am pre-ruing the day they let him walk.

  8. I’d say the big difference between Emaus and McCoy is defence. Pretty well every scouting report I’ve seen says Emaus is an awful defender. Where as McCoy, while not John McDonald, is pretty good infielder. (Now people were saying similar things about Lawrie before this spring, so…)

    Sitll seemed odd to let a player (however flawed) with some clear skills be claimed like that.

  9. I would rather have an Emaus type as a utility infielder than Jonny Mac..

    If Bautista goes down and you need someone playing third, assuming EE can’t do it regularly, then Jonny Mac and Mike McCoy simply don’t hit enough to play the corner… And I would argue Jonny Mac doesn’t hit enough to play second either…

    I would much rather have an Emuas, Inglett, Hoffpauir type filling up my bench then an overrated old guy who can’t hit for shit…

  10. As soon as I saw they were leaving him unprotected I thought it was a bad idea. Emaus’ ceiling is not ultra-high, but you’re right, any of those other options would have been smarter. And AA had to know that he would be claimed. Either way, though, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. I’d be surprised if he’s a long-term option for anything besides a utility-infielder down the line.

  11. smallcapsteve: If Bautista goes down, I’d guess that’d be Lawrie’s cue to start in the big leagues… and nobody thinks Johnny Mac is an everyday player, but he’s pretty much the ideal bench guy. And just for shits, I’m gonna note that he put up an OPS over 60 points higher than Aaron Hill last season.

  12. smalcapsteve I agree on Inglett — I think he’s more useful than McCoy, and he did well here previously. But he’s A LOT better defender than Emaus appears to be, and can play the outfield in a pinch (unlike McKoy, who can stand there like a pilon).

    Johnny Mac seems to like his new hitting coach and actually was occasionally useful at the plate last year. Good bunter, too. Now if Murphy could just convince him to take a walk once a week … which is about how often you want him starting.

  13. I was pissed about both Taylor Buchholz and Brad Emaus. I will however say, if Scott Campbell comes back healthy, he is just as good as Emaus, plays the same positions and even has walked at a higher clip. He just unfortunately has missed two seasons.

    Emaus is replaceable, but he also could’ve filled a hole.

  14. Jonny Mac looked alright in a small sample size last year.. I wouldn’t put too much weight on it..

    Agreed on Campell..

    I like these utility guys that can hit because they also push the starters to perform.. If Hill we’re hitting as badly as last year, and Inglett was having his 2009 season, he is going to put a lot of pressure on Hill, which is good…

    I don’t like having a roster full of prima donna’s who have guarenteed roster spots because of one good season…

  15. I didn’t like it then and don’t like it now, though i have no illusions that Emaus is anything more than, say, Jeff Keppinger 2.0 (and maybe as little as Joe Inglett.

    At least part of the reason i didn’t like it is that i have exactly zero faith that Luis Perez will ever be anything, or that any other team would have taken him. And yes, I’d have kept Buchholz over him too even though RP depth is hardly an issue.

  16. I was also scratching my head after watching Emaus put up those sexy OBPs.

    It’s not, however, completely insane to argue that Mike McCoy is a bigger asset than Emaus.

    You’ve got an average to above average(?) defender at SS whose 08/09 AAA lines are .307/.405/.400; .310/.411/.469.

    Emaus is a worse defender who can’t play SS and had a lower BA, OBP and an ISO only 38 points higher than McCoy’s last year.

    Granted, McCoy is 5 years older, but his ability to play a decent shortstop alone could make him more of a rarity than Emaus. It’s quite possible they just don’t see that much upside in Emaus.

    Scott Richmond could, conceivably, become a starting pitcher. Not to mention, he’s a good Canadian boy. That’s gotta count for something, right?

  17. the jays got rajai davis for 2 minor league relievers. emaus is worth nothing. davis has a proven track record. emaus has done nothing. they weren’t going to get anything for him. every team has an emaus. when he sucks the mets will be sending him back to us.

  18. Calling Hill a prima donna for one bad season is just ridiculous. He’s been a little injury prone, but he seems like a great guy, frankly, in interviews. Talks about his teammates, is self-deprecating, no enititlement issues. If anything, he’s his own worst critic. He just had a bad year. I’m worried about who’s going to catch a ball in the outfield, not Aaron Hill.

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