After Devon Travis undergoes knee surgery, it might finally be time for the Toronto Blue Jays to think about moving on
The Toronto Blue Jays will be without Devon Travis for 4-6 weeks after the oft injured infielder underwent another knee surgery. This time, he tore his meniscus in his left knee. It looked like he might be able to return to the field to reclaim his spot at second base. It would be an uphill climb for him with Freddy Galvis pushing Lourdes Gurriel to the keystone position, but if you’re a fan of Travis, there was the possibility that he could do it.
That came crashing down when we heard that he hurt his knee. Obviously, this is far more devastating for the player than for us, but it is tough. What is even tougher is the fact that Travis’ time in Toronto very well could be limited.
If you’re a regular visitor of Jays From the Couch, you will know that this is very difficult for me to write. I have long been a big supporter of Devon Travis. However, if you’re looking at things from a purely business perspective, it might be time to consider moving on from Devon Travis.
This idea came to me from a conversation here on the Couch. Our Ryan Andrews suggested that Travis hit the 15 day DL and then move to the 60 when Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is able to take his rightful place with the club. Likely, this timeline doesn’t really match up with any service time manipulation, but the transfer to the 60 day makes sense. Then, one has to wonder if he will be able to work his way through the crowd of infielder the club will have by then.
By the time he is ready to return, it is likely that Vlad Jr will be joining Galvis, Gurriel and possibly Brandon Drury and to a lesser extent Richard Urena. At that point, Travis will have his work cut out for him. Sure, other injuries can happen, but it doesn’t look good. At that point, the club will have to consider if they want to pay him to play in AAA.
Travis will make $1.9M this season, which is not an obscene amount, of course. This is the club that is paying a fortune to have Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki play elsewhere. But, from a purely business perspective, one has to wonder about paying a guy to rent an apartment on the DL. Fangraphs provides the following fantasy baseball advice: “Travis isn’t old enough to entirely write off, but he is getting further away from his productive seasons and his path to playing time has become more challenging.” They’re talking about fantasy baseball, but it is also the dilemma facing the Blue Jays at this point.
Chronologically speaking, Travis is just a couple seasons away from putting up back to back seasons of 2+ fWAR. But, with his injury history, that feels much further in the distant past. And, even with those somewhat productive seasons, he saw seasons of 62, 101, 50 and 103 games respectively. Moreover, last season saw him play in a career high 103 games, but he seemed to struggle like we’ve never seen from him. He slashed .232/.275/.381 on his way to putting up -0.5 fWAR. At this point, there are far more questions surrounding Devon Travis than answers. First and foremost, his health is questionable and whether he can rebound from his 2018 struggles is a real concern.
We know the club has said they will stand by Devon Travis and continue to hope he can battle his way back. What else would they say? However, as painful as it is for fans of Travis, one has to wonder how much longer the club will take this stance.
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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.