Cubs Scouting Director on Jason Smith
Jason Smith
with Steve Holley, InsideTheIvy.com
Posted Dec 12, 2006


The Jays believe they picked up a potential 25th man for their 2007 roster in the Rule 5 draft at the tail end of the winter meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Last week we heard from Tony LaCava on the selection of Jason Smith and today we hear from the club that lost Smith.

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Toronto selected 29-year-old INF Jason Smith from the Cubs. Smith is an atypical Rule 5 selection, as he has played 166 games in the majors with four teams, but his ability to back up at shortstop, second base and third base could wind up earning him a spot on the Jays' roster. His selection ends the team's interest in one-time Blue Jay Chris Gomez, whose name came up earlier in the meetings.

Said Tim Wilken, the Cubs Scouting Director...



“They’ve had a fair amount of problems in the middle infield. This guy is probably going to be more of a utility guy for them, but you can see their concentration has been on infielders. They’ve acquired (Royce) Clayton, and now they take Smith in the Rule Five.”

“It’s not a bad move on their part. I’m sure they may have talked to him as a six-year free agent, but one would wonder if you wanted a guy that much to play in the big leagues, why didn’t you just sign him the first time and put him on the 40-man? Some clubs do that. It kind of surprised me, but oh well. He’s been a pretty good player and maybe things will work out for them.”

"We just beat them to the bunch in signing this guy as a six-year free agent. They maybe felt they could play this guy in the big leagues all year, so they stepped up and got the guy. We thought we had some added help there, especially from the left side of the plate, which we’re still kind of looking for big league wise and a utility type to play anywhere in the infield. That may have been what Toronto was thinking and they might have needed a little depth. There weren’t a lot of those guys there free agent wise. Counsell signed with Milwaukee and you’ve got a couple of others."


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