Lack of Jays Pitching Depth Has us Feeling Blue
When the Blue Jays said they were putting the ‘blue’ back into the Toronto Blue Jays, I didn’t think they would literally make some of us feel blue. Unfortunately, after last season and what has been a really disappointing off-season many of the fans are feeling blue.
As we all know, or at least most of us know, the Toronto Blue Jays did not win the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. Instead it was the division rivals, the New York Yankees who went out and gave him $155 million over seven seasons, with an opt out clause after the fourth season.
The Jays probably wouldn’t have signed him anyway; I mean he wanted more than five years and as we all know the Jays wont sign anyone who wants more than a five-year deal. What a silly rule the Blue Jays have put in place, if they ever go out to get a top free agent and they are in intense bidding with another team, all the other team needs to do is offer a six-year deal and the Jays will be out of the running. This is really pathetic. I do realize that the Blue Jays have said that they would bend their own rules if the right deal came through, but I will believe it when I see it.
So with Tanaka now in pinstripes I guess the Blue Jays can finally sign Matt Garza? Wait what do you mean he’s already been signed by the Brewers? Wait they signed him for four years at $52 million, pending a physical? Really Toronto, you couldn’t give him that deal, this deal is exactly what you could have given him and you didn’t do it, wow I am very sad right now.
You know how teams make the playoffs and win the World Series? It’s called depth; depth at pitcher, depth on the field, depth at bat and depth on the bench and right now the Blue Jays depth is horrific. Garza wasn’t going to save this team, but he was going to add pitching depth which the Jays are in need of desperately, because lets face it no one can be sure that Brendan Morrow will pitch 32 games. However, you can be sure that Esmil Rogers won’t be an impact starter, he probably shouldn’t start at all in the first place. You can also be pretty sure that J.A. Happ will be the fifth starter, but that’s what he is, a fifth starter. With all the awful injuries that have happened in the past couple of seasons having too many pitchers in the Jays case is a good thing not a bad thing.
I’m really hoping the Jays aren’t hoping that Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Sean Nolin and Marcus Stroman will some how be ready for the everyday grind of the big leagues, because if they are they are in big trouble and rushing prospects like Nolin and Stroman can be very dangerous for development, isn’t that right Ricky Romero?
The guaranteed starting pitchers baring injuries for the start of the season will be R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brendan Morrow, with players like J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, the new and improved Tomo Ohka, Todd Redmond and all the young pitchers I mentioned above will be competing for the last two spots on the rotation. In most years that’s not bad, but when this is the Blue Jays “window of opportunity” you should be very scared.
So what’s left out their for the Jays to sign? Well Ervin Santana is still available and I’m sure with Garza;s contract he would get signed around the same thing. Yes there is the fact that he would cost a draft pick, but the Jays two first-round picks are protected apparently so it would cost a second round pick! There is also Ubaldo Jimenez who has been a name thrown around in Toronto and frankly he wouldn’t hurt the rotation anymore than someone like Rogers, Redmond and others so why not risk it. For a while we have heard those names in Toronto, but there are others out there like Bronson Arroyo, Paul Maholm, Jason Hammel and a few others and no offense to Ohka and Rogers, but I rather these guys as my starters. It is high time the Blue Jays got over themselves and risked signing some free agents instead of waiting for the ‘right trade’ to appear.
There are still pitchers you can sign for a few seasons and if they don’t work out, trade them, add an opt-out clause, do something, because at this rate the rotation isn’t looking any better and the fans are getting very tired of waiting for something to look forward to. Hopefully the season ticket holders give them heck at the team’s annual state of franchise, which is coming soon, because right now this team isn’t looking that great and I only focused the lack of pitching depth this time.
If the Jays really have no answers for their lack of depth maybe a lot of their fans should start looking for a second team to route for just in case, because things don’t look good. I really hope I am wrong in this situation, but given our high hopes and how last season turned out, the Jays can’t possibly go into 2014 without a major pitching add, can they?
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