As Jon Heyman somewhat reports below, the Toronto Blue Jays siged free agent middle infielder Maicer Izturis. The initial thoughts of Clint Barmes money are awe-inspiring accurate as the official terms are three years and $9 million dollars, with a club option for a fourth season also at $3 mil as per a team release.

Maicer Izturis spent his entire career (save one season in Montreal!) with the Angels, serving as a reliable middle infield sub without ever officially being an every day player. Though he has next to no power and just turned 32-years old, a team like Toronto could do much worse as a backup/fall back option on their bench.

Frequent DJF commenter Brad Fulmer Fan played a fun game in Stoeten’s Jays-specific post over in Jays land. With his permission, I will re-purpose his findings below.

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+

Career stats don’t tell the entire story as Izturis has never once been a full time player in the big leagues compared to the highly-sought after Marco Scutaro aka Player B. He has just two seasons with more than 400 plate appearances, the most recent coming in 2011. If 2011 Maicer Izturis is what the Jays signed, consider this a coup.

Just slightly below-average offense, reasonable enough defense and, most importantly, a guy who is content not playing every day. Which is presumably the plan for the Jays. Izturis provides flexibility and allows them to aim higher without killing themselves to find a viable every day option immediately.

This is the part where you talk yourselves into Izturis actually playing every day, Jays fans. Go ahead, shouldn’t take too much in the way of mental gymnastics. The money isn’t crazy (even if the years are a little scary) but considering what Scutaro is sure to net, the Jays did a decent piece of business here. With an expectation of less than 2 Wins over three years, (depending on your valuation. Inflation might move the $/WAR up quite a bit, thanks to the river of TV money flowing through the league) hard to say it’s a bad deal.

Comments (16)

  1. The O/U on team options for Izturis is set at 1.5.

    • I will take the under. I guess two years with a club option for a third or a 750,000 buyout. The two years will be at 4-4.5 million per year.

      • maybe that’s a little high, 2 at 3.75. I just figure if he is signing this early then the Jays can’t be getting that much of a discount.

  2. For anyone too lazy to go read the other article, player B is Marco Scutaro.

  3. I have no problem with Maicer playing everyday here. He’ll get onbase more and strikeout less than half our roster and all our prospects, and provide sound defense. He can steal bags too.

    Personally, I have no interest in seeing Hechevaria destroy his value by transitioning to second base.

  4. MAICER for the love of god… ma – EYE – cer

  5. Scutaro was initially brought in to be a utility infielder for the Jays as well (and he had worse career numbers than Izturis at the time). He ended up starting somewhere on the diamond for most of 2008 due to Rolen’s injury, Hill’s concussion, and Eckstein’s trade for a 2.9 fWAR season (before his career year at SS in 2009).

    It’s highly unlikely that Izturis will end up being that kind of success story for this team, but he should end up being well worth his contract anyway.

  6. Low OBP and Low K/rate… I’m imagining a player who puts the ball into play a lot and is perhaps just unlucky (I haven’t checked his BABIP numbers). Who knows – a lucky year on the BABIP front and we could have a pretty decent year on our hands.

    The depth and flexibility moves still need to be made. I know this isn’t a sexy signing, but hopefully more will follow; I just hope we all remember that good teams aren’t just built on flashy signings. It’s these types of moves that also aid playoff runs.

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