The Black Hole

Image courtesy of After Death

So what happens if your Toronto Blue Jays don’t re-sign Type A free agent Mr. Kelly Johnson to play 2B next season? 

Since the free agent class this year is.....well.....pretty weak and the farm system can only be described as "noticeably thin" at the position - even that might be too complimentary - we somehow found the initiative to examine all the other rosters in baseball and cherry pick a few potential candidates for his replacement if when the brain trust decides to explore the trade route. 

Like Northwood Mortgage, we’re working hard just for you!

A few things to consider:
  • Most MLB second basemen were either drafted or developed as shortstops. That being said there was absolutely zero chance we were going to look over all the Minor League players in every system, especially the ones below A Ball and try to guess who won’t stick at SS. As such, only players listed as 2B were included.
  • Whomever is picked up will probably end up hitting 8th or 9th in the order. Therefore it isn't downright essential that an impact player is acquired. That's quite a luxury.
  • All players in tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4 are currently listed on their team’s 40 man roster while the players in tier 5 are not.

Tier 1: The studs

These players are the young, controllable, high upside type guys that any GM craves. They project as starters right now.

Dustin Ackley 1988/02/26 1st round 2nd pick 2009 Only on this list because you’d call me stupid if he wasn’t. Pretty much untouchable right now. Bat control is fantastic. He will hit in the Majors.

Danny Espinosa 1987/04/25 3rd round 2008 This guy can hit bombs and steal bases at the big league level. Contact? Not so much. Yet.

Neil Walker 1985/09/10 1st round 11th pick 2004 In his first full season he played 159 games. A big body and a big bat to match.
Jose Altuve 1990/05/06 amateur free agent 2007 Clearly rushed up to the big league level but can you really blame them?

Tier 2: The buy low candidates

These guys are still starting on their clubs. For now. 

Gordon Beckham 1986/09/16 1st round 8th pick 2008 Pretty much all of his offensive numbers have been in a steady decline since his rookie campaign. Plus defender. 

Darwin Barney 1985/11/08 4th round 2007 Never really hit for a lot of power. Pretty much an all around unspectacular player yet still serviceable.

Tier 3: The best of the rest 

AKA the Marco Scutaro category

Current back up, platoon or utility men.

Trevor Plouffe 1986/06/15 1st round 20th pick 2004 He hit 15 bombs in less than 200 at bats in the International League (AAA)

Eric Sogard 1986/05/22 2nd round 2007 Walks more than he strikes out. Looks like a doubles machine in waiting. 

Jason Donald 1984/09/04 3rd round 2006 Doesn’t look like he will stick at SS too much longer. Good/great contact skill.

Robert Andino 1984/04/25 2nd round 2002 Does everything well and nothing superb. Can still play a legit big league SS. Arb eligible for the first time.

Jed Lowrie 1984/04/17 1st round 45th pick 2005 Lack of production in the Minors leads me to believe he’s a little overrated. Switch hitter who kills lefties. Also arb eligible for the first time.

Sean Rodriguez 1985/04/26 3rd round 2003 Might benefit from playing only one position as opposed to all over the field. Can he hit RHP? It wouldn't hurt to give him the opportunity to find out.

Ryan Raburn 1981/04/17 5th round 2001 Has never really been given a fair chance as an everyday player. Decent pop. Oldest guy in any tier. 

Eric Young Jr 1985/05/25 30th round 2003 Only played 43 innings at 2B last year. Can flat out fly on the bases when he somehow manages to get on them.

Jonathan Herrera 1984/11/03 amateur free agent 2002 Is a tad undersized and the power numbers reflect it. Might have some rage issues.

Chris Getz 1983/08/30 4th round 2005 Non tender candidate. No power what so ever.

Tier 4: The 2013/14 type guys

How many option years - if any – these players have left would need to be known prior to completing a trade. Some of these guys might be ready to start in 2012. That was a purposefully vague sentence. A full or even partial year in AAA would probably be beneficial for the player and Super 2 is a bitch.

Alexi Amarista 1989/04/06 amateur free agent 2007 He’s hit at every level in the Minors despite his size. Blocked behind a whole bunch of Scioscia-esqe veterans in LAA.

Steve Lombardozzi 1988/09/20 19th round 2008 Played over 125 games the last three years in a row. Above average speed. Switch hitter.

Logan Forsythe 1987/01/14 1st round 46th pick 2008 Rocked a .445 OBP in the PCL as a 24 year old. Can play a little 3B if need be. 

Adrian Cardenas 1987/10/10 1st round 37th pick 2006 Walks almost as much as he strikes out. 

DJ LeMahieu 1988/07/13 2nd round 2009 Great contact hitter. Plenty of time for the power to develop from doubles to round trippers.

Ryan Adams 1987/04/21 2nd round 2006 Solid looking power numbers in the Minors Leagues. 

Cord Phelps 1987/01/23 3rd round 2008 Made 5 errors in only 75 chances with the glove. The stick looks nice.

Taylor Green 1986/11/02 25th round 2005 This Canadian boy from out West can swing it and take a walk. 

Eric Farris 1986/03/03 4th round 2007 Managed a measly .689 OPS in the PCL? Is that even possible?
Harold Garcia 1986/10/25 non drafted free agent 2004 Missed most of 2011 with a knee injury. Never played above AA. Decent bat.

Tommy Field 1987/02/22 24th round 2008 Made the jump from AA to the Majors probably because of his glove. His power looks legit. So do the strike outs.

Ivan De Jesus 1987/01/05 2nd round 2005 Consistent success at every stop in the Minors. 

Jeudy Valdez 1989/05/05 non drafted free agent in 2005ish. Played SS all this year and 2B all last year. Shown some decent pop and better wheels. Dominican birth certificate could be a concern. Needs some time in AA but could move fast.

Tier 5: The prospects

We only took our search as far down as High A ball. Had to draw the line somewhere. Feel free to tell us all about the guys we missed. 

Henry Rodriguez 1990/02/09 non drafted free agent 2007 Hasn’t posted an average under .300 since 2007. Say what you want about batting average as a stat but that just has to count for something. Never played above the AA level. Great power/speed combo. Switch hitter. Consider him the priority player on this list. 

Greg Miclat
Ryan Cavan

Who would you realistically like to see play 2B in a Blue Jays uniform next year? 

Do you have your eye on a specific player that we either mentioned or didn't?


  1. I would like to see to see Kelly Johnson stay but as that is unlikely I would like to see what Adeiny Hechavarria can do.

  2. People have to stop with this Adeiny Hechavarria crap. His bat won't play in the big leagues right now and he loses most of his defensive value playing 2B instead of SS.

  3. Yah I don't understand the love for Hech either, he's like Gose, all the potential in the world but he has given us no reason to think that he will reach it.

    I'm really hoping to reunite Yunel with his buddy from Atlanta Martin Prado. He can lead off and let Yunel move down to second and he can shift around the diamond helping out Mike McCoy so as not to expose his middling D.

    I think he's got two more years of arbitration so we can always move Yunel to second if Hech ever figures it out.

  4. If the Jays can get Cardenas or Sogard I would also be very happy. Let K Johnson go to some contender, hopefully Detroit (we get their draft pick) and we give Sogard/Cardenas the chance they are not going to get being stuck behind Jemille Weeks.

  5. Hech won't be in the majors to start next year, his bat isn't there yet but that doesn't mean he is far. As for his defense, he will never play 2B! He will be our SS and either Yunel will be moved to 2B or we will find someone else. To say he loses his defensive value at 2B is silly, he is strong enough to play anywhere on the IF, but there aren't many better at SS so it's a moot point!

  6. 35-year old FA Aaron Miles. He hit .270, with an obp of .314. Have him bat near the bottom of the lineup. Plus defender, he can maybe scrounge 3-5 hr, and 50 rbi. He walks little and strikes out about 1/9 ab. Good contact hitter. Made 500k last season. A nice stop-gap until AA finds someone young.

  7. NYY once had a hole at 2b and put an outfielder there to see how he would do. Soriento went on to have a great few years at the position.

  8. 1. Beckham
    2. Prado - not on the list I know
    3. stopgap guy like Hairston or Carroll and presume Hech pushes Esco over a year from now.

  9. Soriano came up through the system as a shortstop.

  10. Eric Sogard, the obp. would be nice to have in the lineup if he can transfer it to the major league level.

    The tier 1 guys ain't goin' nowhere, and the rest are either too far away or not what I would consider everyday players. Sogard's obp. and doubles power makes him the most intriguing possibility of the lot.

    If Sogard is unavailable then move Lawrie back to second and trade some outfielders/pitching for a 3b'er like Chase Headley.

  11. What about that cuban kid we signed to play SS for the Jays? The one the Jays outbid the Yankees for? Why not move him to second base and having both him and Escobar guarding the middle would be a real black hole for ground balls.

  12. when Hech is ready, Escobar will move, not Hechavarria

  13. J. Carroll as a stop gap. We can figure it out from there.

  14. If Kelly Johnson declines arbitration then I trade for Jason Kipnis. He probably belongs at the bottom of your tier 1, he's young and controlable and exactly the sort of player that AA craves.

    What he will cost in prospects will be recouped in the draft picks that Johnson brings back.

  15. Move Lawrie to 2B his natural position.
    Keep Bautista on 3B.
    Then we just have a hole in RF to fill which is an easier position to fill.
    (Snyder, Serra, Davis... Goose... internally)(Beltran, Willingham,Pierre, Ross, JD Drew... etc as free agents.)

  16. 2B is not Lawrie's natural position. He was moved there from C by Milwaukee. He is too big to play 2B now.

  17. Adeiny Hechavarria loses most of his defensive value playing 2nd? A good infielder is a good infielder, and the ability to play on either side of the diamond is a long term benefit to Adeiny. Personally I would like to see these prospects given the opportunity to show if they are even close to what everyone has planned out for them. Let them play and lose as a team, just like the Atlanta Braves of the 80's, and when they win, they will be that much better.