Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Blue Jays Back-Up Catcher Situation

Over the course of the Blue Jays off season we have been lucky enough to see our fair share of activity through Trade, Free Agency and across the Waiver Wire.  Almost half of the entire 25 man roster is different from last year!  That's crazy.... another crazy thing from this offseason...How many catchers have come and gone..... Today' i'm going to see who we've seen as temp Blue Jays, Who's going to be in AAA Buffalo and who is going to be the back-up catcher this year when spring training breaks.

First off....Here are all the transactions that have involved catchers this off season so far.

Toronto Blue Jays claimed C Bobby Wilson off waivers from Los Angeles Angels
Toronto Blue Jays claimed C Eli Whiteside off waivers from New York Yankees.
Miami Marlins traded C John Buck to Toronto Blue Jays for C Jeff Mathis
Toronto Blue Jays selected the contract of C A.J. Jimenez from New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
New York Mets traded C Josh Thole, C Mike Nickeas to Toronto Blue Jays for C John Buck,C Travis d'Arnaud
Cleveland Indians traded RHP Esmil Rogers to Toronto Blue Jays for  3B Yan Gomes.
Toronto Blue Jays signed free agent C Henry Blanco.
C Jack Murphy assigned to Toronto Blue Jays.

Yeah that's a lot of catchers.... 12 in total give or take some I may have missed!

So here is where I am confused...... Who's going to be the Back and and Who's going to be in AAA Buffalo.  The Jays signed Henry Blanco last week to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, fast forward a few days they give Josh Thole a 2 year contract (+ an option) .  One would think that the back up role would go to Josh Thole.  The same guy who the Jays ensured was a part of the RA Dickey trade in December, the same guy that Dickey made sure to call out by name in his introductory press conference, but the word on the street is that the job is actually more likely to go to Henry Blanco.

Why Henry?  We'll after reading many different takes on the idea of Henry Blanco being the back up, what I gather is....The Jays are going to do everything they can to ensure they have a team first attitude coming into this year and they are going to surround themselves with guys who are great teammates where they can.  This same philosophy was seen today as the Blue signed another super teammate in Marc Derosa to a $750,000 contract...

The more and more I looked at it, I think i'm ok with it!  Blanco knows Dickey as they played together in New York and other than last year his offensive numbers haven't been half bad for a backup.  The Guy's defense is killer, which is great as it give JPA another mentor in the clubhouse to help with him becoming a better catcher. (This may actually be more important that thought as with Wakamatsu not having a Job with the team, this leaves a big hole in catcher mentor-ship department).  So ultimately this looks like Thole will be in AAA along with Mike Nickeas.  This really isn't that bad for the Jays to have another MLB caliber catcher in the minors just in case anything happens.

So couple all these moves and all the rumors that also surrounded JP Arencibia during the course of the off season, it's been one crazy 3 months for catchers in the Blue Jays Organization.

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