Sunday, April 20, 2008

Who Would You Rather Have at DH?

- A future Hall of Famer who's long past his prime but still going strong?
- A backup catcher?

Today, the Blue Jays opted for the latter, releasing Frank Thomas and starting Rod Barajas in his place.

Toronto has made some comments about how it "wasn't fair" to keep Thomas on the bench. Maybe that wasn't in Thomas's best interests--letting him go to some DH-starved team like the Twins or Rays does increase the overall efficiency of Major League Baseball--but as their employee he's under contract to play when they tell him to. A backup DH isn't the most useful thing in the world, but surely Thomas has value to a team that's willing to play Rod Barajas there instead. Furthermore, is Thomas really looking so bad out there? Three homers and 11 walks in 16 games isn't that bad of a slump in my book.

There's no way this move is purely baseball-related. Maybe the Jays wanted to make sure Thomas's 2009 option wouldn't vest, but there had to be a better way than this.

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