The trade of Aldemys Diaz makes Devon Travis’ position on the Blue Jays roster more secure
Before you start screaming, I recognize the 2018 contributions from Diaz. The Blue Jays got a shortstop who could play everyday and hit .263 with 18 home runs. It’s vintage Tulo performance at a fraction of the cost. I appreciate what Toronto got form Diaz this past season. In fact, I enjoyed him so much that I am glad he gets to move to a contending team with a legit shot at going deep into the postseason.
However, that is not the only reason I am happy. In fact, it is a distant second to the real reason. I am over the moon that the position of Devon Travis on the Blue Jays’ roster is a little more secure.
See, I paid attention to the rumblings that Travis could be a non-tender candidate. Let’s set aside the fact that Kevin Pillar is not mentioned on the list. The fact that someone uttered the sentence regarding Devon Travis made me stand up and take notice.
I swear, some people just do things to personally mess with me. pic.twitter.com/QtflcF147f
— ░D░O░Y░L░E░ (@DoyleJFtC) November 15, 2018
In case you weren’t sure, the bald kid in the green shirt is me, minus the beard and hair. The mere thought of cutting Travis loose makes me angry. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll be well aware of my affinity for the oft injured Floridian. He has a personality you just have to root for.
That said, I can see why people would consider passing on his 2019 contract. His 2018 season was rather disappointing, despite playing in a career high 103 games. Known for his ability to put the bat on the ball, Travis let his club down to the tune of a .232/.275/.381 showing that saw him produce just 77 wRC+. Sure, he suffered from a BABIP of .255, which is WAY below his previous marks. But, if luck has a lot to do with his season, he must have broken a good number of windows. Without going too far into his struggles, it’s easy to see why the idea of non-tendering him came up. I mean, he wasn’t going to be traded with those numbers.
But, now that Diaz will be helping one of the best teams in baseball lock down their division, the logjam of infielders in Toronto has been diminished. Currently, the Blue Jays will see Travis, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Brandon Drury and the ghost of Troy Tulowitzki will fill the dirt cut out, barring any more moves this winter. Of course, this mix will be severely impacted once the team finally admits Vladimir Guerrero Jr is ready for the big leagues.
Of course, if Drury lives up to the potential (and effort) outlined by JFtC’s Srikant Kabse, then he very well could make things interesting. Let’s say he plays well when Vlad Jr is ready to come up. If Travis hasn’t figured things out, the one on the bubble might be different than we assume. Remember, Drury played a lot of games at second base for Arizona. It is possible that he supplants Travis. Of course, all of this is assuming that Tulo returns healthy. And if the Blue Jays traded the would be everyday shortstop, maybe there is belief he will. Of course, that remains to be seen. We should also mention that Gurriel could also take time at the keystone position.
For now, Devon Travis’ position with the Blue Jays remains. Trading Diaz makes room for him moving forward. However, it does not set his place in stone. He will have to come into Spring Training and show that his struggles are behind him; that he is the hitter we saw flashes of previously.
The good news here is that it looks as though he’ll be given the chance to do that. Barring any pieces being added, Travis will stay in Toronto. That is reason to rejoice. For me, anyway.
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.