Way back in 1976, Toronto tried to steal the Giants away from San Francisco. Thanks to Bob Lurie, it didn’t work.
Now, 34 years later, Toronto may be at it again, bit by bit.
The Toronto Blue Jays acquired outfielder Fred Lewis in a trade with the Giants for a player to be named or cash.
This past offseason, the Blue Jays claimed Merkin Valdez and Brian Bocock off waivers from the Giants. Valdez is still in Toronto, while Bocock was put back on waivers and later claimed by the Phillies.
And then, of course, there’s pitcher Jeremy Accardo, whom the Jays acquired in that brilliant trade for Shea Hillenbrand back in 2006.
As far as Lewis is concerned, most folks saw this one coming the last few weeks. The Giants’ outfield is crowded and Lewis seemed to fall out of a favor with the team last season.
The alternative to trading Lewis would have been to place Nate Schierholtz or Andres Torres through waivers, or send Eugenio Velez or John Bowker to Fresno. There was no way the Giants were going to risk losing Schierholtz or Torres. With so many outfielders on the roster, Velez became to valuable for his ability to play 2B, and Bowker has started seven of nine games in right field this season.
We hope Fred finds a spark in Toronto. We always liked the fact that Fred rarely swung at pitches out of the strike zone. However, he also had a habit of not swinging at pitches IN the strike zone, which was always a frustration.
Fred has talent. If he could ever find the balance of being disciplined when you need to be disciplined and aggressive when you need to aggressive, he could blossom in Toronto.
Good bye, Fred. And good luck.