The Blue Jays haven't made any bold off-season moves, but when I look at the 2012 lineup, I see major upgrades at center field and third base. Colby Rasmus, who'll be the only player in the clubhouse with a World Series ring, is going to have a career year. Although he had a rough start in Toronto, batting .173 in 133 ABs, Rasmus loved the atmosphere and overall mojo during a post-trade stint with the Jays.
We talked quite a bit during his rehab stop at Double-A New Hampshire. Rasmus really opened up and told me about his crippling relationship with TLR and how he couldn't step off the field without being micro-managed. It just didn't work there -- just like it didn't work for Yunel Escobar at the end of his time with Atlanta. Rasmus will have a career in 2012 with 26 HR, 80 RBI, .277.
A full-time Brett Lawrie at third base, for my money, is the most significant team upgrade. There is no substitute for the energy and power of The Beast. It's contagious. Lawrie's August 10 grand slam beat the A's and woke up the Blue Jays (winning six of nine). Lawrie's year? 27 HR, 91 RBI, .280, 22 SB.