The Blue Jays have been known to get the most out of other team’s outcasts. Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, and Edwin Encarnacion are just a few of the names who have achieved a high level of success, if not all-star status, after they joined the Blue Jays. It may be time to go back into that well and use that formula again as the Blue Jays look to shore up their offence for 2015. And I think the one player General Manager Alex Anthopoulos should be targeting is Alex Rodriguez.
You say, “huh?” Others will say, “not going to happen.” I say, “why not?”
A-Rod certainly fits the outcast criteria. Like Cabrera, he is also linked to use of performance enhancing drugs. The Yankees are looking for a way to get rid of Rodriguez and his hefty contract as quickly as possible. I think the Blue Jays can get him cheap. Perhaps if Anthopoulos can make his counterpart in New York, Brian Cashman, pick up say about 80% of the remainder of the contract, he would more than gladly take Rodriguez off his hands. Even if the Blue Jays have to assume the remainder of the contract on their own, A-Rod is worth the hassle.
I know I have said before that the Blue Jays really need a left-handed hitter with some pop and Rodriguez is a righty. We already have Brett Lawrie at 3rd base so where are we going to put A-Rod? Look, with Adam Lind gone that opens up a spot at DH and if the Blue Jays want to entertain the idea once again of Lawrie at 2nd base next season, you now have 3rd base open for A-Rod. As for the left-handed bat, isn’t there a hole in centerfield that needs to be filled? What about the Yankees worried about trading him to a division rival? Well, let’s see how bad they really want to see him out of New York.
Rodriguez will have no trouble adapting to the metropolitan lifestyle of Toronto. It’s like having all the fun of New York, but on a more smaller scale. He also went through the media scrutiny in the Big Apple. So Toronto should be a piece of cake. The one area of concern is the clashing of egos in the clubhouse. Rodriguez wants to be “The Guy”. He was second banana to Derek Jeter in New York. He is going to be third on the depth chart behind Bautista and Encarnacion in Toronto. But I would hazard to guess that Rodriguez will just be satisfied with the fact that, at least for one year, he is playing baseball once again after serving a season-long suspension.
Toronto is becoming a sanctuary for outcasts. Kyle Lowry and Joffery Lupul are just a couple of more players who have benefitted by coming to the Big Smoke. I bet the Blue Jays will get the same result with A-Rod.