Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos hasn't wasted much time this offseason addressing some of his team's needs.
First he acquired Mike Aviles from Boston in what appeared to be a move to replace departing second baseman Kelly Johnson.
He then shipped Aviles to Cleveland just over a week later for up-and-coming reliever Esmil Rogers in an effort to bolster Toronto's bullpen.
Now, Anthopoulos has once again addressed his need at second base by signing veteran utility man Maicer Izturis, who has spent just about his entire career in Anaheim with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
The deal, reported just under an hour ago by Jon Heyman of cbssports.com, will have Izturis in Toronto for the next three seasons, earning a total of $10 million.
Izturis was one of the more suitable options for the Jays and one of the better second basemen/utility infielders on the market this offseason. He's also a nearly perfect replacement for Mike Aviles, as the two have very comparable numbers over their careers.
Izturis is just one year older than the 31-year-old Aviles and has a career batting average of .273, just four points lower than that of his predecessor. And while Aviles has a better slugging percentage, Izturis has been better at getting on base.
Thus, their career OPS numbers are separated by just three points (Izturis has a career OPS of .718, while Aviles sits at .715).
This is just another smaller, yet savvy move from Anthopoulos that addresses one of Toronto's needs. With the Jays expected to be working with more money this offseason, finding ways to pick up a bullpen arm and middle infielder without spending too much money will allow them to make a big splash later on in free agency.