After being DFA’d and returning to the club, Ezequiel Carrera is in exactly the right spot for the Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays sort of surprised us recently when they designated Ezequiel Carrera for assignment. They needed the room on the 40-man roster for Seung-Hwan Oh. The move makes a lot of sense, as was explained already by our Stephen Brown, once Zeke was DFA’d, Toronto was only on the hook for a fraction of the $1.9M they agreed to earlier in the offseason. That makes the Oh deal kind of like found money.
This made the move that much more enjoyable for me, personally. I have developed quite a reputation for my thoughts on Zeke. I would be lying if I said that his removal from the roster made me sad. I mean, we’re talking about throwing to the wrong base, questionable defense, falling down off of third base into a triple play Ezequiel Carrera. However, after the most recent edition of the JFtC Live & Interactive show, the really issue I have had all along revealed itself. And, the solution has now presented itself.
Now that he’s returned to the organization, the club can use him however they wish. Thanks to an outfield that now features Kevin Pillar, Randal Grichuk and a combination of Steve Pearce and Curtis Granderson, the Blue Jays do not need to find a spot for Zeke. For the last few years, there hasn’t been much in the way of depth to keep the Venezuelan out of the lineup. He would collect 332 games worth of action in a Blue Jays uniform, which was likely never supposed to happen. But, thanks to not having any other options, it did happen. And, when it happened, Zeke always found a way to earn himself more playing time. Manager, John Gibbons would put him in late in a game and he’d hit a home run, making his manager look like a genius and buying himself more time.
Lack of options and playing above his head kept Zeke at the big league level for longer than my patience could bear. And, it kept his salary rising. But, since his DFA, he is now in the proper position for this team. Let’s be honest, Zeke is a AAAA player and can now be used as such. He can be called up and sent down depending on need and/ or performance. With so many options now ahead of him, his future looks to be in the Buffalo Bisons outfield.
But, even that doesn’t seem certain. With Anthony Alford, Roemon Fields, Teoscar Hernandez, Dalton Pompey, Dwight Smith Jr and even Harold Ramirez likely taking up time for the Bisons, it is not immediately clear where Zeke fits in. He would be the elder statesman there, but should he be taking playing time from younger players who figure to be on their way up? He could be a DH, one supposes. As well, he could provide some of that veteran “I’ve been there before” type of experience to the younger players, which is certainly valuable.
For the player, things might be uncertain these days. Carrera might be looking around him wondering just where he will be playing in 2018…and for how long. For the club, though, things worked out well for them. No waivers claims were made and they didn’t have to trade Zeke for a minor return. Instead, they have him right where they want him: as potential depth with experience that can be deployed as they like.
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