Toronto Blue Jays Sign Omar Vizquel to a Minor-League Deal; Can He Help?

Stephen BrownCorrespondent IIJanuary 24, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 28: Omar Vizquel #11 of the Chicago White Sox signs autographs before the final game of the 2011 season against the Toronto Blue Jays at U.S. Cellular Field on September 28, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Here is another one of those shrewd moves made by GM Alex Anthopoulos.

AA and the Blue Jays signed the 11-time Gold Glove winner to a minor league contract late Monday night. Vizquel, who turns 45 in April, will be looking to try and crack the tough Blue Jays lineup in spring training.

Vizquel, who surprised me by having a Twitter account, stated: “I'll be with the Toronto Blue Jays in spring training this year to earn a spot."

So what is the point of this deal and why does it have any merit?

One name: Adeiny Hechavarria.

Hechavarria is one of the brightest prospects in the Blue Jays system. He is seen as a great defensive shortstop, and under Vizquel’s tutelage (if he does not make the Blue Jays outright), he can only improve his demeanor, defence and approach to the game.

Vizquel will be one of those "player-coach" type players at this point in his career. He only played 58 games last season with eight RBIs.

It is the 2,908 games of experience that will definitely help the young Blue Jays squad.

So if Vizquel doesn’t make the Blue Jays opening day roster then he can help Hechavarria in the minors. If he does make the team, then he can provide excellent leadership, clubhouse presence and tutelage for the young Blue Jay infield.

Having an experienced infielder who is reliable, a great teammate and an overall good guy can only help this young team.

He has always been known to be one of the nicest, positive players in the MLB, with a team-first attitude.

All in all, a great pickup by AA that won’t be evaluated by numbers, but through the intangibles he brings.

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