Eckstein signs with Toronto, 1yr $4.5M

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Eckstein signs with Toronto, 1yr $4.5M

Postby Ruutu15 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:28 am

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays' first big acquisition of the winter is going straight to the top of their lineup.

The team and free-agent shortstop David Eckstein agreed on a US$4.5-million, one-year contract, a source close to the talks said Thursday. An official announcement, pending a physical, could some as early as Friday.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was already envisioning how the five-foot-six, 170-pound sparkplug would fit into his lineup, projecting him into the leadoff spot he's occupied throughout his seven big-league seasons.

"That's been his role and he's always been successful at it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons told The Canadian Press. "He's a tough out and he really battles. He just seems to find a way to get something done."

Eckstein spent the past three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, earning MVP honours as they won the World Series in 2006. He batted .364 with four RBIs in that five-game victory over Detroit to earn the honour.



The 32-year-old started his career with the Los Angeles Angels and won the World Series with them in 2002.

"He's anchored that position (shortstop) for two World Series teams," said Gibbons. "He's a guy that has had to prove himself over and over and you can never have too many of those guys."

The move relegates incumbent John McDonald, who signed a US$3.8-million, two-year extension in September, to a backup role. McDonald can be like a magician with his glove but Eckstein offers a lot more at the plate.

Eckstein batted a career-high .309 for the Cardinals last season with three homers, 31 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. He has a career on-base percentage of .351 and has struck out just 305 times in 3,772 at-bats.
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Postby Ruutu15 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:29 am

I don't understand why they let Eckstein walk. It's going to be a very long year.
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Postby Stl_Blues_1fan » Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:58 am

Went from World Champs...to not even making the playoffs....so wonder who else we will lose this off season....
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Postby Blueline29 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 6:42 am

Ruutu15 wrote:I don't understand why they let Eckstein walk. It's going to be a very long year.


++

Oh, and they raised season ticket prices again this year! :roll: My dad was furious. FWIW, he contacted their alleged customer service and told them they might want to take a lesson from the Blues on how to reward loyalty (my parents have been STHs for going on 20 years now). Winning once every 2 decades is not the goal here, fellas.
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Postby goon attack » Fri Dec 14, 2007 8:58 am

So who are we getting or does Ryan take over?
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Postby OS » Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:20 am

We alerady signed Cesar Izturis... but it isn't clear whether he or Ryan will start at this point. They gave Izturis a decent amount of money, but they also included incentives for games played in the contract so I'm guessing there's going to be a competition at SS.

As for Eckstein, I don't have a problem with letting him go as much as I have a problem with who they are replacing him with.
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Postby goon attack » Fri Dec 14, 2007 9:58 am

I have no faith in Izturis to be any good.

I say make the job Ryan's to lose.

He's essentially Eckstein with more power, no? Don't know how they evaluate his defense.
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Postby cprice12 » Fri Dec 14, 2007 10:56 am

I like Ryan.
He's got a good arm, is flashy with the glove and has more power than Eckstein.
He just needs to be more consistent in the field.
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Postby eastcoastbluesman » Fri Dec 14, 2007 11:29 am

I'll go further: Izturis is a steaming pile of...

In his best season, he hit .288, and that was four years ago. Other than that, he's hit above .257 once, going .276 last year in 123 AB. Oh, and he doesn't steal bases anymore, either. He's never walked more than 43 teimes in a season (again, his 2004 career season) so he's not a leadoff hitter. And he hasn't played a complete season as an everyday player since 2004. Plus, the Cardinals overpaid him.

And he played for the cubs. :x

Cezar Izturis is Kip Wells in the field. The Cardinals will finish in the cellar of the worst division in the league this year, mark my words. The Reds, Cubs, Brewers and Astros have all at least tried to address their needs.
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Postby richtedm » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:17 pm

This is what happens after years and years of shoddy drafting and player development.

I don't think they've figured out how to manage that yet at all.

I'm not a big fan of overspending on FA's and the Cardinals havent been either. Thats a fine strategy - IF YOU CAN DRAFT PLAYERS TO STEP UP AND PLAY WHERE A FREE AGENT SIGNING WOULD NORMALLY HAVE HELPED YOU. Furthermore, if you let players who know how to play and win leave your organization YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE PLAYERS IN YOUR SYSTEM WHO CAN STEP UP.

Little annoyed about that.
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Postby goon attack » Fri Dec 14, 2007 12:50 pm

You guys don't think Ryan can be effective?

HE hit for a good average last year and as curt said, showed some power.

Are 10-15 extra errors going to make or break the season?
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Postby OS » Fri Dec 14, 2007 1:19 pm

goon attack wrote:You guys don't think Ryan can be effective?

HE hit for a good average last year and as curt said, showed some power.

Are 10-15 extra errors going to make or break the season?


I'm unsure about Ryan. He hit decently last year, but his numbers in the bigs were better than his numbers ever were in the minors.
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Postby tsblue » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:00 pm

Ryan and Izturis will share time...it is a stop gap measure until the prospects mature and some of the dead weight gets off the payroll. Exactly one of the 5 big money guys will contribute meaningfully this year...for all of you who love long term big money deals...this is the down side.
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Postby ohio BLUES » Fri Dec 14, 2007 2:59 pm

OS wrote:
goon attack wrote:You guys don't think Ryan can be effective?

HE hit for a good average last year and as curt said, showed some power.

Are 10-15 extra errors going to make or break the season?


I'm unsure about Ryan. He hit decently last year, but his numbers in the bigs were better than his numbers ever were in the minors.

Sounds like he's on teh roids, or sharing needles with Ankiel :)
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Postby rivermenfan33 » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:14 am

Izturis couldn't even make it with the "horrible" Cubs.
Have fun. :grin:
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