Depth is good – too much depth can be a problem. That is what General Manager J.P. Ricciardi is…
Which Infielder Is the Next to Go?
There are only two things guaranteed in the Blue Jays infield for the 2006 season. Lyle Overbay will see most of the action at first base and Troy Glaus will see most of the action at third base. What will happen to Shea Hillenbrand, Corey Koskie and Eric Hinske? We'll answer the easiest part first. Eric Hinske will be traded – eventually. "Actually the market for Hinske is good at the moment," one baseball insider told InsideTheDome Thursday evening. "However, the Blue Jays will have to pick up most of his contract if they intend to move him." Whether the Jays would do that is a different story. Hinske has two years left on his five-year contract and is scheduled to make $9.95 million over the 2006 and 2007 seasons. Sources have told InsideTheDome that the Blue Jays have discussed deals with the Pirates, Reds and Orioles for Hinske – but nothing appears imminent at the moment. "J.P. is not in a rush to get rid of salaries. Ownership has not told him he must get rid of contracts before he can add contracts, and therefore he has some leverage in these deals." However, Ricciardi will also need to trade another corner infielder in addition to Hinske. The ideal candidate for the Jays GM would be to trade Koskie – who signed a three-year deal worth $17 million last off-season. The problem is Koskie will make $5.25 million in 2006, $5.75 million in 2007, and has a $500,000 buyout for the 2008 season if his team option is not picked up. To go along with all those factors, Koskie has a no-trade clause to ten clubs. The Jays and Dodgers briefly talked about a deal during the Winter Meetings, but the talks did not pass the preliminary stages. The Twins are a possible destination for Koskie, but talks between the two clubs have not progressed. "The Jays have soured on Koskie and now that they have Troy [Glaus] they no longer need Koskie. Ricciardi's preference would be to trade Koskie and Hinske" one baseball official with knowledge of the Jays situation told ITD. The player with the most value out of those three is Shea Hillenbrand. The Jays could easily trade the infielder/designated hitter, who is eligible for salary arbitration, but manager John Gibbons would prefer to keep Hillenbrand as the clubs designated hitter. ITD has learned that the organization has thrown out the idea of using Hillenbrand in left-field, but that idea has yet to be presented to Hillenbrand. "John Gibbons is a big fan of Hillenbrand, and is trying hard to lobby for him to stay."
95 Fans onlineJoin The Conversation