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Double Play: Davis move could be first domino in Jays' plans

Daan De Kerpel, TSN.ca
11/18/2010 2:11:47 PM
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Now that the Toronto Blue Jays have added some stolen base speed to their offence with Rajai Davis, two questions in particular have immediately popped up with Jays fans and TSN.ca Your! Call users: Where will Davis play and, perhaps more importantly, what will it mean for the rest of lineup?

For his part, General Manager Alex Anthopoulos didn't seem all that concerned with the matter yesterday when he held a conference call with the media to address the deal.

"We're not predetermining anything right now. I don't know how the off-season is going to line up, I'm not sure yet. (Davis) allows you to do a lot of things," said Anthopoulos. "We're still engaged in a lot of different scenarios, whether it's trades or free-agent signings, it's very fluid and it's to be determined what everyone's role is."

“Very fluid” could be an understatement. Looking at the Jays' depth chart as it currently sits, there are only two projected starters on the roster that seem locked into their positions: Vernon Wells in centre field and Yunel Escobar at shortstop.  Everyone else appears to have either a second position that he can play like Adam Lind (DH and 1B) and Jose Bautista (3B and RF), or has a position that he could be moved to like Aaron Hill (2B over to 3B) and Travis Snider (LF over to 1B or DH).

So what does it all mean? Let's assume that the Jays added Davis in the hope that he can become an adequate-to-good lead-off hitter.  The rationale for that argument is that if the Jays were looking for a guy to be only a fourth outfielder, they could wait until a slew of players got non-tendered and then sign a surplus player for money, as opposed to losing the prospects - much the way they did with Fred Lewis last season.

With Davis and Wells in the outfield, that leaves Bautista and Snider for one more corner spot.  While it's been speculated that Bautista would move to third, it's possible that the club could elect to keep him in right field, using a sort of platoon at first base and designated hitter with Snider and Lind.  In that scenario, the club would need a third baseman.  The Jays could also shift Aaron Hill to third, in which case they would need a second baseman - unless they thought that their (other) prized Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was ready to play in the Majors to start the 2011 season and would play second base.

The reality is that the above scenarios are a few of many that could happen but may not, as the Jays could be very active in the trade market.

In the last week alone, the club has been linked to Zack Greinke and Dan Uggla in trade talks (Uggla has since landed with the Braves), and according to a Fox Sports report, the team also has interest in Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton.

Those matters don't even address the persistent undertow of all the “Manny Ramirez-to-the-Jays” talk.

"If the right trade is there, we'll make trades," Anthopoulos said on Wednesday. "You can't look at it and say I need to have 'X' amount of prospects in the minor-leagues. What are you getting back, what are you trading away, what are they ultimately going to be, how replaceable are they, whether it's in the following year's draft, whether it's minor-league free agents, big-league free agents.

"That's the evaluation."

It seems that Anthopoulos is leaving no stone unturned this off-season, and with the Winter Meetings coming up in December, it seems like the changes to the Jays roster could just be starting.

Now it's time to have your say. What should Anthopoulos and the Jays' brass do next?  Is there any Jay that is “untradeable”?  Let us know with the Your! Call feature below.

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