Biagini the only prize Blue Jays land in Nashville

By: Bob Elliott

Canadian Baseball Network

NASHVILLE _ Will right-hander Chad Jenkins be on the Blue Jays roster opening night April 3 at Tropicana Field?

No one knows for sure right now.

Know this, we know that the Blue Jays bulked up on the final day of the 114th winter meetings selecting right-hander Joe Biagini from the San Francisco Giants for $50,000. Biagini will either be at Tropicana wearing a Jays uniform opening night or back in the Giants organization.

Biagini, 25, was 10-7 with a 2.42 ERA in 22 starts in 23 appearances for the double-A Richmond Flying Squirrels. He walked 34 and struck out 84 in 130 1/3 innings.

“We’ll shorten him up, put him in shorter stints and see if there’s a little bit of upside,” Atkins told reporters. “He has a three-pitch mix, He jumps a little bit more subjectively than objectively.

“When you go through the process and a guy is high on your board and remains there when you’re picking 21st, we feel good about that. The fact that our scouts identified him far earlier than this week was something we were excited about.”

Baseball America’s evaluation: “Savvy righthander doesn’t possess a plus pitch, but average arsenal and pitchability makes stuff tick up.”

A 26th rounder signed for a $175,000 bonus in 2011, Biagini is the first Rule V that the Jays selected and did not trade since Zech Zinicola, selected from the Washington Nationals in 2009. He did not stick.

The stop-the-press acquisition of infielder Darwin Barney is still not officially official.
The flights have left Tennessee air space ... so the green light can be given to print up the T-shirts:

My Club Went to the Winter Meetings ...

All it Brought Back was Joe Biagini

And This T-Shirt.

6 on RULE V: The Rule V draft was the backbone of the Jays franchise in its first decade with Hall of Famer Pat Gillick giving scouts free reign to chose 17 players in the first decade including Willie Upshaw (1977), George Bell (1980), Jim Gott (1981), Jim Acker (1982), Kelly Gruber and Manny Lee (1984).

And in 2003 the Baltimore Orioles selected a youngster named Jose Bautista from Pittsburgh. 

DEL BOCA VISTA, PHASE II: President Mark Shapiro indicated Wednesday that the Jays would partake in the minor-league phase of the draft since so many arms had been moved to reach post-season play for the first time since 1993. 

“It comes down to the level of interest,” said Atkins. “How much upside and what our alternatives are internally. One thing we feel strongly about is giving the opportunity and being committed to players we’ve drafted and developed. So what gives when you take a player from another organization who comes into yours, who did you take that opportunity away from, potentially?”

TRYOUT CAMPS MAYBE: The Jays have 19 pitchers on their 40-man roster 16 who ever pitched in the majors. Atkins says his spring roster will be 60-to-65 players and half of that would be pitchers.

“It doesn’t mean you’re going to need them,” Atkins said, “but if you’re looking for a ballpark number you want to pull from, I would say that’s the number.”

SCOUT AND ABOUT: Joe McDonald of the Boston Red Sox won the director award at the 32nd annual scout of the year banquet. McDonald, 86, began working for the New York Mets in 1965 winning titles with the Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Red Sox (three). East, midwest and West scouts of the year honors went to Jax Robertson (Pirates), Mike Arbuckle (Royals) and the late Jeff Barton (Reds).

Jays scouts nominated for honors were Ross Bove, Bryan Lambe, Ted Lekas and Paul Tinnell.
As usual there were more ex-Jays scouts nominated Dave Yoakum (White Sox), Jose Posada (Giants), Ben McClure (Brewers), Jack Gillis (Rockies), Tom Burns (Padres), Jerry Walker (Reds), Mark Snipp (Reds) and Gordon Lakey (Phillies).