Blue Jays Flip Returned Rule 5 Pick Emaus To Rockies

The Deal
The Blue Jays lost Brad Emaus to the Mets in December’s Rule 5 draft, but they didn’t suffer long from separation anxiety. As New York’s everyday second baseman this April, Emaus started the year 6-for-37 (.162) with zero extra-base hits, earning him quick passage back to Toronto after he cleared waivers. The Blue Jays bought back Emaus for $25,000, half his Rule 5 draft fee, and then promptly traded him to the Rockies for 27-year-old Double-A righthander Chris Malone and cash considerations.

Some internet reports speculate (convincingly) that by trading Emaus to Colorado, the Blue Jays settled their debt of future considerations for last November’s acquisition of Miguel Olivo from the Rockies. Olivo lasted three days with Toronto before the Type B free agent bolted to the Mariners via free agency. But since the Jays offered the veteran catcher arbitration, they netted the 57th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Blue Jays Acquire
Chris Malone, rhp

Age: 27.

Born: June 28, 1983 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 215. Bats: R. Throws: R.

School: San Joaquin Delta (Calif.) JC.

Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Dodgers, Aug. 18, 2004 … Released by Dodgers, March 28, 2008 … Signed by independent Chico (Golden), May 2008 … Signed by Rockies, May 28, 2008 … Granted free agency, Nov. 6, 2010; re-signed by Rockies, 2011.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Tulsa (TL) AA 1 0 4.15 4 0 0 4.1 7 3 2 0 2 3 2.08

Malone declined to sign as 36th-round selection by the Royals in 2003 out of San Joaquin Delta JC, signing instead with the Dodgers as a nondrafted free agent the following August. He topped out in low Class A with Los Angeles and spent about a month touring the independent Golden League in ’08 before signing with Colorado. Working as a reliever for high Class A Modesto and Double-A Tulsa in the three seasons from ’08 through ’10, Malone logged a 4.88 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 145 2/3 innings, but supported those poor results with mediocre strikeout (6.2 per nine innings) and walk (3.3 per nine) rates. He relies on a high-80s two-seam fastball and sinking changeup to attack the bottom of the strike zone, occasionally throwing a below-average slider.

Rockies Acquire
Brad Emaus, 2b

Age: 25. Position: 2B (11 G).

Born: March 28, 1986 in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Ht.: 6-0. Wt.: 205. Bats: R. Throws: R.

School: Tulane.

Career Transactions: Selected by Blue Jays in 11th round of 2007 draft; signed June 15, 2007 … Selected by Mets from Blue Jays in Rule 5 major league draft, Dec. 9, 2010 … Returned to Blue Jays, April 21, 2011.

Club (League) Class AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
New York (NL) MLB .162 14 37 2 6 0 0 0 1 4 9 0 .262 .162

Now the pupil may have a chance to learn from the master. In our 2009 Prospect Handbook we compared Emaus with Ty Wigginton, a well-traveled 33-year-old infielder who has played for six clubs in 10 big league seasons. Wigginton landed in Denver this year, where he shares time with Rockies regulars Todd Helton and Ian Stewart on the infield corners. Emaus, like Wigginton, bats righthanded and offers positional flexibility, though neither his offensive nor defensive tools are loud enough to carry a starting gig, as the Mets learned this spring. Emaus sports a a 212-to-220 walk-to-strikeout ratio and sturdy .364 on-base percentage in more than 1,800 minor league plate appearances, but that comes packaged with below-average range at the keystone, below-average speed, below-average power and a below-average hit tool. He’s a career .276 hitter in the minors, and he hit nine of his 10 Triple-A home runs last season at home in the Las Vegas launching pad. Emaus is a better fit defensively at third base, his primary position in 2010, but his ability to play some second base and his grinding plate approach could make him a useful bench player or, at worst, strong organizational depth.


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