Toronto Blue Jays: David Eckstein or John McDonald?

Conor HoganCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2008


For most Jays fans, shortstop John McDonald needs no introduction. He is arguably one of the best defensive playmakers in the game.

So why is it the Jays signed David Eckstein when they have McDonald's glove?

The question has been put forward many times before and the answer is always the same: offense.

John McDonald, although a great runner on the paths, is not a hitter. He limits the team's offense. (Though for the Jays that is only slightly with their lineup.) 

McDonald is an out at the plate and the Jays can't have that. That's why they brought in David Eckstein.

So why Eckstein?

Because the Jays expressed interest in him. The Jays were probably the only promising team that had expressed interest in him. 

I'm not saying other teams weren't interested in him, what I'm saying is that the Jays were the only team close to the playoffs. Plus the chance of playing the Yanks and Red Sox fairly often is always appealing. 

So the Jays sign Eckstein looking at his .286 career batting average and thinking of another sure hit in their lineup.

So how will it play out?

As has been stated many times by others, Eckstein will be the number one guy and McDonald will do spot duty. However, for us Johnny Mac fans, we are more than likely to see him quite often. Since he's a defensive wiz he will of course, be brought into tight games to finish them off. 

That's where we will get our fix for highlight plays.

So how can Johnny regain the starting job?

Easy! (Sort of.) The only chance he has is if Eckstein struggles at the plate.  If so, then the Jays will obviously play McDonald more, reasoning that they get better defense for the same offense. 

All Eckstein has to do to stay number one is keep his average above .270. Anything below that and he opens the door for McDonald.

Now, the only thing that remains is: Who would you choose to be your SS?

I've stated the most obvious reasons why the Jays are going with Eckstein over McDonald. So before I let you have the floor, here's my choice: I would choose McDonald over Eckstein. The reason being, I already have quite enough offense on my team, so I'd go with defense first.  

Post below if you think I missed anything important in my analysis of the two players.