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Toronto Blue Jays: 3 Impact Players Who Can Elevate Jays Into Playoff Contention

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Toronto Blue Jays: 3 Impact Players Who Can Elevate Jays Into Playoff Contention
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With the recent acquisition of yet another set-up man/closer to the fold in Frank Francisco, the Blue Jays appear to have one of the deepest bullpens in all of baseball. Starting at the top with likely opening day closer Francisco, then down the line with Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, Shawn Camp, Jason Frasor, David Purcey, Jesse Carlson, Carlos Villanueva and likely Jo-Jo Reyes, the Jays are stacked in the pen.

With the influx of young but talented arms in the rotation, the Jays look to be trying to overload the bullpen just in case the starting rotation faces issues.

However, with the trading of Vernon Wells, Mike Napoli, Shaun Marcum and the departures of Kevin Gregg, Scott Downs and John Buck via free agency, the Jays are hoping their young farm system can help alleviate some of the losses here.

Expect JP Arencibia, Travis Snider, Kyle Drabek and possibly even Brett Lawrie to make an impact this season for the Blue Jays.

With that said, these are very raw and unproven players in the majors and the Jays may be in need of veteran players to help guide these potential stars through the major league grind.

The Jays will also be looking for bounce back seasons out of Jesse Litsch, Dustin McGowan (if healthy) and Jose Bautista—not the 54 home run-like numbers, but at least 30 is reasonable to ask.

Elsa/Getty Images

So what else is out there Jays fans that will improve this team for the upcoming 2011 season?


Three Players That Could Potentially Be Jays

3B Michael Young

How Can He Be in a Jays Uniform?

With the Rangers' recent signing of third baseman Adrian Beltre, it pretty much sealed the fate of Michael Young. With a pretty hefty price tag, Young right now can only be had by some of the league’s most wealthy teams.

Young’s price tag, along with age, makes him a bit of a risk for any team to take on, but his defense and bat more than make up for the somewhat sketchy contract.

At 33 years old, he may be too old for the Jays' young team, but his veteran experience and bat would be worth the price. With all the salary traded away, the Jays could easily afford to grab Young from the Rangers, although some would argue the Jays should have included others to grab Young in the Francisco deal yesterday.


3B Eric Chavez

How Can He Be in a Jays Uniform?

Alex Anthopolous believes in second chances, he’s doing it with Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch and also Edwin Encarnacion, and I believe Eric Chavez may be Anthopolous’ next reclamation project.

Which of the Three Players Mentioned is Most Likely to Land in Toronto

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A former all-star and perennial gold glove winner, Chavez anchored the Athletics defense for many years until injuries caught up to him. With the injury past, and a declining bat, I don’t expect Chavez to cost that much at all, and to me seems like the most realistic option going forward for the Blue Jays.


DH Vladimir Guerrero

How Can He Be in a Jays Uniform?

This may be a tough one for some to wrap their heads around, but I think Vladdy to Toronto makes a ton of sense. They lack a middle of the lineup presence, which Vladdy can help with. He is getting up there in age, but his bat proved to be alive last year in Texas.

With the big boppers of the AL already securing DH’s for the next season, I think the Jays probably can offer the native of the Dominican Republic a decent incentive-laden deal with the club.

The AL is full of DH’s right now with David Ortiz in Boston, Jorge Posada in New York, Hideki Matsui in Oakland, Bobby Abreu in Los Angeles, Jack Cust in Seattle, Mike Young in Texas, Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez in Tampa Bay, Luke Scott in Baltimore, Jim Thome in Minnesota, Magglio Ordonez in Detroit and lastly Adam Dunn in Chicago, there really aren’t any more voids at DH left in the AL.

Toronto is probably Vladdy’s last option right now to play for a contending team this season. I highly doubt the likes of Kansas City, Seattle, Cleveland or Baltimore entice Guerrero to sign there, and even more unlikely is a move to the National League.

In my opinion, if the Jays can get two of these three players, the offense will be that much better.

The Jays have the money to spend, but will they is the better question.

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