As Jonathan pointed out last night, Andrew Friedman and Co. have launched the first volley of Roster Roulette 2012 by trading John Jaso to Seattle for RHP Josh Lueke and a PTBNL.
This move is classic Friedman. Somehow, he sold a part that was destined the 2012 Rays garage sale this spring. Not only that, but in the process he filled a need (bullpen) AND got some money out of the deal (there is a 100% chance the PTBNL is Benjamin Franklin, whose baseball name is “cash considerations”).
By all accounts, Jaso was a really nice guy and he was fun to root for. But, best I can tell, the only thing he did well was remember to run to second when a pitch was in the dirt. That might open the door for discussions about how “heads up” he is but, it certainly isn’t a reason to waste a roster spot. To paraphrase the late, great, Jon McKay: Jaso didn’t catch or throw well, but he made up for it by not hitting well either.
Jaso’s appearance in the big leagues at all is a mere coincidence. Jaso was never intended to be a big leaguer. He just happened to land in an organization whose other catching options were Kelly Shoppach and Dioner Navarro. Add a timely injury and Jaso gets real big-league experience as a result. If Chirinos or Lobaton existed in 2010, we probably never hear of John Jaso.
Take all of that, add in the reports that the Rays are ready to sign Jose Molina this week, and you have to wonder why Seattle gave up anything to get Jaso. It especially makes you wonder why they gave up a reliever talented enough to be included in the Cliff Lee deadline deal with the Rangers AND cash.
Friedman really is something to behold this time of year.