Brad Emaus Returned To Blue Jays

In case you missed it, Rule 5 pick and Opening Day second baseman Brad Emaus was returned to the Toronto Blue Jays; he will report to AAA Las Vegas.

For those unaware, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

I find it mildly surprising that the Mets didn’t work out some kind of a deal to keep Emaus, considering how high J.P. Ricciardi was on the infielder and how much time was invested in Emaus during the spring. But, I don’t know who the Mets could have offered to the Jays in return. They can’t really afford to give up any of their minor league pitchers, and their position players of value are similarly too young to send away.

What is interesting is that the Jays have phenom Brett Lawrie tending 2B in Vegas now (and hitting .390), and it is only a matter of time before he is in Toronto. So I imagine that Emaus will return to his more “natural” position of third base — a position where he will have to hit for more power than he has shown (both this spring and in his minor league career).

With Emaus gone, my guess is that Justin Turner and/or Dan Murphy will have to make it happen at second base this year — though, former MLB starter Russ Adams looms in Buffalo as the next viable option. Dreamy Mets fans like to discuss Ruben Tejada and Jordany Valdespin, but both are slated to play shortstop in preparation to compete for the absence of Jose Reyes either later this year or next spring. Josh Satin has made some noise, but it’s questionable whether he can make the jump from AA. Reese Havens? He’s yet to play in a game after offseason rib surgery.

What do you think? Should the Mets have found a way to keep Emaus, particularly since he doesn’t seem to have a future with the Blue Jays? Are you confident that there is someone already in the organization to play the position now and/or in the very near future — or do they need to acquire someone?

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Nicastro April 22, 2011 at 8:34 am
    Havens would be nice but he is basically the infield version of F-Mart – he can’t stay healthy.

    Murphy and Turner are probably both useful utility players.

    It could be possible that the loser of the Tejada/Valdespin competition for SS is shifted to 2B.

    • Joe Janish April 22, 2011 at 11:11 am
      I’m not so sure I want a loser playing 2B.
  2. John April 22, 2011 at 8:36 am
    I don’t think Emaus is ever going to be more than a back up infielder if even that. Most of his minor league production was in Las Vegas which is a hitter’s dream ( as is most of the PCL). Which is why the Blue Jays didn’t protect him.
    Alderson let Riccardi take a shot, it failed and now it is time to move on.
  3. Joe April 22, 2011 at 9:10 am
    Yeah, like John said, hard to care too much about this.
    • max_dugan April 22, 2011 at 10:58 am
      Hard to care too much about this???? Seriously???

      Emaus was the poster boy of this new brilliant regime! We heard all about his OBP and the genius of Alderson,DePo, Riccardi stealing him from the bluejays and all the numbers nuts were saying he was gonna be the next Jeff Kent. So now after two weeks the experiment fails and it’s no big deal? WHATEVER. Where’s Luis Castillo?

  4. Izzy April 22, 2011 at 9:17 am
    I don’t think Emaus would have cost anything more than another rule 5 type candidate. If they had a high regard for him, he’d have been on their 40 man roster. He seemed very not ready for the bigs, but to be fair to him, he did not get a fair chance. I know this is not a proper comparison, but Willie Mays started 1 for 25. Would these impatient clowns have sent him down? Duda 17 ABs, Emaus less than 40!!!!!
  5. gary s. April 22, 2011 at 9:35 am
    In the immortal words of Casey Stengel, Emaus is 24 and in ten years has a good chance to be 34.Let’s move on.
  6. daxmontana April 22, 2011 at 9:53 am
    I’d give the spot to turner until he proves he cant handle it. hes shown some power last couple years and fairly good patience at all levels. Keep murph playing the utility role/mild pinch hitting threat. Get chin lun kazuo matsui hu in a “0” uni and seat him on a stool in foul ground beyond either first or third base. Keep the kids down for now and hope for maybe a satin/havens platoon in the near future, which, coincidentally, sounds like a great place to buy bedding.
    • Joe Janish April 22, 2011 at 11:10 am
      I agree: Satin/Havens does sound like a great place for bedding.

      It reminds me of the days of Stearns and Foster hitting 3-4 in the lineup in the early 80s. With Foster followed by Brooks, so then it was Foster – Brooks; though, you may be too young to know what I’m talking about.

  7. Timo April 22, 2011 at 10:20 am
    I’m over it. Once again, alot of talk on the Mets part. Making this kid the starting 2B was crazy too. BUT what choice did we have? Good thing about this is we don’t have to hear from Terry Collins on how he needs to get Murph in the lineup because he’s “such” a good hitter. He’ll play against righties and Turner against lefties. I’m fine with that. Again like John said, we tried and failed. Time to move on. We have alot more issues than 2B.
  8. xDanTanna April 22, 2011 at 10:23 am
    I think the idea the Mets did not attempt to make a trade for Emaus. May tell us while Ricciardi may have been high on him. Sandy Alderson probably saw him for what he was. As for second base the rest of the year. I am skeptical Murphy / Turner can give you major league caliber defense on a day in / day out basis here. I know people for some reason hate this guy I am about to mention. But, why not bring in Eckstein ? he would give you some stability there for the year. Whether it be in a part time basis and/or off the bench. The guy is a winner. Okay, sure he is not going to be an offensive juggernaut. But, in all honesty (unless Murphy becomes consistent) who is? David Eckstein is a guy who can maybe get through to some of these guys and help them understand how to win. Because that is not going to come from the manager we have here.
    • Joe Janish April 22, 2011 at 11:07 am
      Remember Todd Walker? I can envision a Turner/Murphy platoon being almost as good defensively and almost as good offensively. Which is to say, they won’t hit enough to make up for their below-average defense.

      Just think, next year the Mets won’t have a legitimate shortstop either.

      • xDanTanna April 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm
        Yeah, wasn’t Walker w/ the Rockies? We are probably looking at Tejada at SS come August. I like Reyes, but if he really wants to be here. Maybe he can compromise & accept a 4yr type of deal? After all the time he has missed w/ injuries, I can’t offer him much more than that.

        My hope is we do go into full rebuild mode & Wally Backman is appointed manager; to mentor. teach & mold a group of players into a winner starting next year (or sooner). I think this fan base would accept that & believe in it.

  9. Steve Waller April 22, 2011 at 12:15 pm
    Two comments…

    1. Brett Lawrie is playing 3B not 2B. Look at the box scores, not the stats pages.

    2. Russ Adams didn’t make it with the Blue Jays a few years ago either.


    • Joe Janish April 22, 2011 at 2:41 pm
      Steve, thanks for the correction on Lawrie’s current position. Next time I’ll read the boxscores.

      So that brings up a more interesting point: if Emaus continues playing 2B for Las Vegas, they’ll have two players out of position, since Lawrie played most of the 240+ games in his pro career at 2B. But who knows, maybe both are more suited to their new positions. And maybe they’ll be playing those two positions for Toronto before the end of 2011.

      As for Adams, what is your point? He did “make it” in that he played 139 games for the Jays in 2005. He wasn’t great, but he was their starting shortstop for most of that season. He’s since proved to be competent if unspectacular defensively at 2B and has improved his offense in the minors since then.

      Angel Pagan didn’t “make it” with the Cubs. RA Dickey didn’t “make it” with several MLB clubs. Both have done OK with the Mets.

      I didn’t say the Mets should bring up Adams now, but he seems to be the next logical choice if the current tandem fails.

  10. argonbunnies April 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm
    I think Hu has done more in his career to prove he doesn’t belong in the majors than Emaus has. I would have preferred to keep Emaus, on the off chance he pans out. 2B is a thin position in the majors right now, so I feel worse about losing an option there, even if it’s a long shot, than I would for, say, LF. None of our alternatives at 2B are safe bets; one more body to raise the odds would be good.

    Hu’s nice for late-inning defense, but really, in a close game, is it worth the downside that, (a) we’re probably down to our second catcher as our last pinch-hitter, and (b) if the opposition ties it, now Hu has to hit? Hu’s ability to turn the occasional DP also doesn’t excite me the way Endy’s ability to routinely steal doubles did.

    • Joe Janish April 22, 2011 at 2:46 pm
      My guess is we are looking at Hu in the short-term, while Sandy and co. are looking at him for the long-term — long-term, as in, what the Mets will do for a shortstop after Jose Reyes is traded in June or July.

      The Mets probably need to keep Hu around because if Reyes is indeed traded, there needs to be insurance in the event that Tejada continues to look overmatched at the plate in Buffalo. Because take a look at the organization: there are NO SHORTSTOPS anywhere close to MLB-ready. Hu would at least be able to provide strong defense — probably stronger than Tejada at this point in both players’ careers.

      Also, Hu is DePodesta’s “guy” as much as Emaus was Ricciardi’s “guy”. Therefore, longer leash.

      • John April 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm
        From reading Michael Baron’s recaps at Met’s Minor League Blog, it sounds like Tejada is playing pretty well. The thing with Tejada is that after an adjustment period he keeps improving at every level he has played on. And he has been young for the leagues he has played in. The kid has really good instincts and knows how to play the game.
        I am not saying that they shouldn’t resign Reyes, but for all the talent there are still times when he has me shaking my head.
  11. Mic April 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm
  12. Stephen Graham April 28, 2011 at 9:43 am
    Lawrie is projected at third for the Blue Jays. With Edwin Encarnicion’s erratic defence and Lawrie’s strong hitting, that may happen sooner rather than later, with Encarnacion likely becoming more of a full-time DH. The guy can still hit.

    Emaus could yet make the Jays playing second because Aaron Hill is not quite the lock that he was a year or so ago. After missing most of last year with a concussion he had a so-so spring training where he didn’t hit well and then started the season slowly as well. The Jays option on Hill for the last year of his deal was declined and now he’s on a shelf with a hamstring injury. Hill must have a good year to stay in the Jays plan and it hasn’t gone well so far so getting Emaus back is good insurance for the Jays.