The Blue Jays signing Marcus Semien has created implications for Cavan Biggio’s playing time…and potentially his future.
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The Toronto Blue Jays continue to make MLB headlines with their offseason efforts. To date, they’ve spent a whopping $185M and are likely not finished. It is a great time to be a Blue Jays fan. However, it may not be a great time to be a Cavan Biggio fan.
The details of the Marcus Semien 1yr/$18M deal are rather mundane until you consider that he was given more money to convince him to play second base. In a vacuum, this is not all that big a deal. A short stop should have no difficulty making the transition and if Semien can live up to his production potential on both sides of the ball, it is a signing to celebrate.
However, the Blue Jays are in a position where they now have a plethora of talent, so any signing will have ripple effects for the current roster, which brings me to Biggio. The 25 year old had solidified himself at the keystone position. Sure, manager, Charlie Montoyo enjoyed Biggio’s positional flexibility, trying him all over the field, but really he was best suited at second.
When you add Semien into the mix, it seems like Biggio will be moved to third base. Let’s explore that idea. He played all of 10 games at third last season. Perhaps, using him at third at the end of the 2020 season gave the club all the evidence they needed to pursue this as a viable option. For what it’s worth, if a 17 game sample can be trusted, he put up -2 DRS, a UZR/150 of -13.4 and -1 OAA. Obviously, the front office wouldn’t be going by these numbers alone. Instead, they’ll use what they saw from him in drills, etc. Maybe he showed an ability to make him an actual 3B option…perhaps more so than Vladimir Guerrero Jr.has. At the very least, Biggio provided enough confidence for the club to spend $18M on improving their club overall.
Of course, Biggio could be used in other roles. If Monotyo wanted to, he could give Vlad some reps at third and use Biggio as a utility player to give others a chance to DH, have a day off or for IL stints. We’ve seen Biggio play all over the diamond, which has led some to make the comparison to Ben Zobrist. That is not an entirely fair comparison. Biggio certainly has shown his worth at the plate, perhaps making his case to hit leadoff instead of newcomer, George Springer. Where the comparison falls short is on the defensive side of things. Where Zobrist excelled at multiple positions, Biggio has been ‘good enough’. For a team that began the offseason saying they wanted to improve defensively, this doesn’t quite work.
There is an idea that the addition of Semien makes Biggio expendable or trade bait. The very reasons we love Biggio as a player make him a very good trade chip in a deal that could land the Blue Jays a Kris Bryant would be rather short sighted since Toronto has guys like Jordan Groshans or Austin Martin coming in a couple seasons. So, trading him to solve the third base issue would be something that would enrage me. It’s enough to put a very dark cloud over an otherwise bright offseason. I would be bitter for a very long time. Biggio is not the club’s best player, but he is their most valuable when you add up all of the things he brings to the table. Some may disagree and point to him being a good player, but not a great one. They need to pay more attention.
Where the real trade talk starts to make sense is if you consider that a guy like Bryant could be packaged with a starter like Kyle Hendricks. That has the potential to be a significant deal that the Blue Jays may be hard pressed to pass up. Sure, Bryant is a rental and a short term 3B solution, but Hendricks’ contract would provide the club with 3 more years of team control (at a reasonable cost) with the potential of a 4th if his option vests. And, Hendricks is definitely worth his $14M AAV. So, trading Biggio might sting, but if this deal were to take place, it would make the Blue Jays potentially division favourites.
Because winning is the ultimate goal, I may be convinced that trading Biggio is the right call. However, we become attached to players, which sometimes interferes with our logical thinking. So, if the Toronto Blue Jays are going to use him as apart of a trade package, they had better get a return that makes them significantly better because the idea of losing Biggio is not one I am prepared to accept easily.
*Featured Image Courtesy Of DaveMe Images. Prints Available For Purchase.
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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.