Saturday, January 29, 2011
Kevin Kouzmanoff Coming to Toronto?
According to Buster Olney the Blue Jays may be involved in a three way trade that will send Chone Figgins to Oakland, Kevin Kouzmanoff to Toronto and unknown to Seattle. So this begs the question, why would Toronto be interested in picking up a mediocre hitting 3rd baseman with a career line of .258/.302/.425 who is scheduled to make $4.75 million in 2011? It can't be about draft picks again can it?
Well the truth of the matter is that this deal would actually make a lot of sense for Toronto for the following reasons:
Currently Toronto is loaded with questionable defenders and Kouzmanoff who has a combined 1.2 defensive WAR over the past two years has a reputation as a good defensive 3b. Therefore this would improve the infield defense, allow Jose Bautista to move back to RF (the stated position he prefers to play) and removes the temptation to put Edwin Encarnacion at 3B. Additionally it will take a little presure off of Adam Lind at 1B, someone who is essentially learning the position.
Getting Rid of Junk for Slightly Better Junk
The following reason only makes sense if the player the Jays would be sending to Seattle is Juan Rivera. In reality the Jays never wanted Juan Rivera, he was the guy that they had to take on in order to unload the Vernon Wells contract and they have no intentions of offering him arbitration at the end of the year. Therefore Rivera will not bring the team back a draft pick when he leaves at the end of the year and if they can trade him now for a player similarly unwanted by another team, but plays a position of need for the Blue Jays, they'll make the deal. Thus if they can deal Rivera for Kouzmanoff it will make Bautista happy and improve the defense without a significant change to the payroll or overall offense.
I say make it so...