So, after spending the evening browsing Jays blogs, it seems that On Base Percentage is the hot topic for this offseason. Here is a list of Players that are/could be available, and their 2010 OBP. I'll sort them by OBP:
Jim Thome- .412 (If he's still playing next year) Not an interesting prospect long term, and he pushes Lind into the field full time. VERY unlikely
ManRam- .401 in a dissapointing year with the Dodgers (.420 with the White Sox) He'll be looking to rebuild value and plays LF and can DH (moving Lind to 1B or LF). I would like to see the Jays make a run for him if they think they can contend.
Prince Fielder- .401. I listed him second for 2 reasons: Manny's .420 with the Sox, and the added cost of a trade to pick him up. Would definitely cost Drabek, and either a major leaguer, or else we'd gut the system ans send Stewart, and likely Carlos Perez
Paul Konerko- .393. I was surprised to see how high his OBP ended up. If he came to Toronto, I'd have to be pleased. I would hope for a short term deal though. Also, if we stole 2 players from Chicago, Joe Cowley would petition congress to invade Toronto and bomb the Rogers-Dome.
David Dejesus- .384- His team option will be picked up, but could be had in a trade. Plays both corners well enough.
Derrick Lee- .384 after he went to the Braves
Brett Gardner- .383 If the Yankees do as expected and sign Crawford, they could rebuild value in their system by flipping Gardner for prospects. not sure what it would cost, but he'd be a perfect fit as leadoff man, and is controllable for the future.
Jed Lowrie had a .381, can play 2B, and might be available (Ellsbury was a dismal .241 in a shortened season, and is widely considered to be trade bait if the Sox get either Werth or Crawford)
Lance Berkman was Over .380 while in Houston (and when healthy) He could look for a 1 year value rebuild.
Kelley Johnson- .374
Johnny Damon- .355- He's out there, but doesn't excite me.
David Wright- .354 (be careful what you wish for, although he could be an upside play.) Brian Roberts, who is rumored to be available, had the same OBP
Aramis Ramirez- .294. Has a way better career mark at .340, but has mysteriously lost some pop and bat speed since drug testing was introduced. Just sayin'
Since we're all so happy to rosterbate this time of year (there have been great posts at TaoofStieb.blogspot.com and at thesouthpawbaseball.blogspot.com- Seriously, go read them) so here's what I propose:
If we want to press FF on our Rogers Cable boxes, and start contending now, we could sign Ramirez and Konerko, play Bautista at 3B, and would be considered a Playoff contender for sure.
If Anthopoulos sticks to his slow building model (a safe bet) then I could still see him pursuing Brett Gardner, and pushing Wells to RF. This would give us a speed/OBP threat that we've almost never had. I hate the idea of trading within the division, but if Gardner's available, he's worth a shot.
Anybody I missed?