That player finally has emerged -- free-agent shortstop David Eckstein.
The Jays have reached a preliminary agreement with Eckstein on a 1-year, $4.5 million contract, according to a major-league source.
Eckstein, a two-time World Series champion, likely will become the team's everyday shortstop, returning John McDonald to a backup role.
The Jays signed McDonald to a two-year, $3.8 million contract in September, but considered his deal affordable even if they used him as a reserve.
Scrappiness and grit are only worth a year, apparently.