Last week, there were a few interesting articles written about how Ryan Goins loves the Blue Jays, but that he’d also like to someday soon have the chance to be a starter. And can you really blame him…Goins is one of the finer defensive players in the league at both shortstop and 2nd base, and even with a below average bat, he’s too good a player at this stage of his career not to be starting somewhere.
The difficult thing is, if Goins were to start, it would sadly mean the Blue Jays having to trade him to another ball club. With Devon Travis, Troy Tulowitzki, and Josh Donaldson, the Blue Jays are set at shortstop, 2nd and 3rd base, leaving little playing time for Goins. As badly as Goins wants to start, Toronto shouldn’t trade him just yet on account of him being such great insurance in case something were to happen to Donaldson, Tulowitzki, or Travis this season. Toronto is right in the thick of things at the moment in the standings, and as soon as they get back their remaining players from the disabled list, they’ll have as good a chance as any team in the AL East of making the post-season.
When Tulowitzki hurt his hamstring and missed 31 games in April and May, Goins stepped right in at shortstop and was every bit as good defensively as the two-time gold-glove winning mentor of his he replaced. With Toronto being a contender in 2017, they can’t risk losing one of their infielders to injury again for an extended period and be forced to replace them with Darwin Barney or Chris Coghlan. Barney is a solid player to have come off the bench, but he never could have come in and replaced Tulowitzki at shortstop the way Goins did earlier in the year.
As an organization, the Blue Jays obviously need to do what’s best for the team. But, and this is where the situation gets a little more complicated, they also have to take into consideration what’s best for the player and his long term future as a ball player. Goins will be turning 30 next year, meaning he only has so many good years left before his career is over. He’s been a great contributor and team player for Toronto since being drafted by them in 2009. If there’s a team out there willing to give Goins a chance to start, then come the conclusion of the 2017 season, Toronto needs to explore moving him so that he can get the most out of his prime playing years and not be wasting them away on the bench.
It’s such a bonus to have a gold-glove caliber infielder like Goins on the bench, but his prime playing days are only going to last so long. That’s why Toronto has a morale obligation to trade him if there’s little probability in the near future of him starting for the Blue Jays.