One Site. All Sports. Across the Globe.
The Toronto Blue Jays are once again big players in the free agent market this off season. They are determined to be a winning team and give the great country of Canada another World Series.
The biggest place to be addressed is the starting pitching. The Jays had one of the worst team ERAs in the league finishing at 4.25 ERA. The entire rotation is still up in the air, but RA Dickey, Mark Buehrle, and Brandon Marrow are most likely in the rotation. To fill the other two spots, the Jays are reportedly interested in LHP Brett Anderson who is currently with the Oakland A’s. He is known for being oft-injured, but is till highly though of by most baseball scouts. He has stuff for days, as shown when he threw a shutout vs. the Tigers in game 3 of the 2012 ALDS, but needs to show he is healthy. The A’s are expected to pick up his $8 million club option and then could possibly be willing to trade him to the Jays. The A’s, after all, are loaded with strong young starting pitching. If the Jays can get Anderson and he turns out a great year for them, he has a second club option for $15 million that could help the Jays hold onto him.
The Blue Jays are also reportedly interested in catchers from the Las Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Yep, I wrote out the entire name for fun.) All of the Jays’ catchers had disappointing years; they all finished under the Mendoza line. Josh Thole will most likely stay on the team as the backup catcher simply because he is the only one who can catch Dickey’s knuckler. JP Arencibia is arbitration eligible and will probably be sent packing if a deal for an Angel’s catcher is made. The Jays are targeting both Hank Conger or Chris Iannetta. Both had good years for the Angels and either of them could fill the offensive starting role that the Jays desperately need.
To make trades, the Jays need to have good trade bate. They will most likely get that out of their young center-fielders Colby Rasmus or Anthony Gose. Both have the potential to bring in some good trade offers. One place the Jays don’t have to worry about is their bullpen. The Jays bullpen finished the season at a collective 3.37 ERA, fourth best in the American League. They have even seen the emergence of Casey Janssen into a closer superstar, recording an almost flawless record 37/39 in Save Opportunities.
“We need to make changes; that goes without saying,” Alex Anthopoulos, Blue Jays GM said recently. “How can we sit here with our win-loss record and say we’re going to maintain the status quo? That’s just not realistic.
“Our focus has to be on, ‘How do we get better?’ To focus on blame and things like that, that’s part of the process and the evaluation, but I just don’t think [that’s productive]. It’s collectively. When we’ve had the results we’ve had, it’s a lot of areas.”
The Jays hope a good roster upgrade around its superstar core will be enough to be competitive and make a playoff run. The Jays will once again look to be contenders.