Monday, December 19, 2011
Offseason Reality Check
Prince Fielder and Jose Bautista.
Trust me I would love to have those as my 3-4 in the Jays lineup. That would make for the best 3-4 punch in the AL East (better than Adrian Gonzalez and Ortiz and the Yanks version of Teix and A-Rod). But it isn’t going to happen.
I sat for days and thought about how great an outfield would be of Lind-Rasmus-Bautista – I think one of the best in the AL as well.
But that’s just not happening.
Alex Anthopoulos just does not work that way. He will not spend a 7 year $125 million dollar contract.
The Jays currently have $70 million set aside for contracts for 2012. They had $78 million in 2011 for contracts. Alex likes young players who will do two things – lower the payroll and have them signed for a number of controllable years. Jose Bautista is the only player making over $10 million dollars (he is making $14 million per year until 2016 – what a great deal). And the next highest player makes less than half what Jose makes – Escobar, Lind and Romero all making $5 million.
Yes Prince Fielder is a good player – his last 3 year avg. stats are – 97 runs, 39 homers and 115 rbi’s. Jose has another year of his good production away from that kind of 3 year split and Adam Lind is another year or two injury-free seasons away. No current Jay has numbers like Prince. But Alex does not work that way – he will not drop $18 million on a player like that – especially not for that long. Alex wants to control his players and build a contender that will last.
I think right now that the Jays depth chart is now something that can compete with the Yanks, Red Sox and don’t forget about the Rays. This year will be a dog fight in the AL east – too be the AL West will be a better fight. The Red Sox and Yanks and both on the decline – they have no pitching. Neither of them are rumored to be in on the Yu Darvish sweepstakes and each are an injury away from falling fast. We all watched from afar as the Red Sox fell in Sept historically, that could happen again in 2012.
I think the team that we as Jays fans should worry about – is the Rays. No – Jose Lobaton, Ben Zobrist, Elliott Johnson, Sean Rodriguez and Matt Joyce don’t scare me – and I think Lind, Arrencibia, Kelly Johnson and Bautista are far better but its their pitching that scares me. They still have Price, Shields, Davis, Niemann and Hellickson. All could have an ERA under 3.50 this year. I think that starting rotation is who the Jays should try to emulate.
I like the numerous reports that in a few hours MLB will announce that the Jays have won the Yu Darvish bid.
Part of me says there is no way Alex would waste $50 million dollars on a posting fee with how he handles Rogers’ money. But part of me says this makes sense. Outbid the other teams, you don’t need to take anyone from your current team and you get to add a piece. The only thing that scares me is the effectiveness of Japanese pitchers who have come over to the majors. Matsuzaka was good for his first two years (15-12 and 18-3) but his last three leave little to be desired (4-6, 9-6 and 3-3).
That’s not a good way to spend $51 million in posting fee. Saito, Uehara, Takahashi.. all came over from Japan not much success. In less than 8 hours I would love the Nippon Ham Fighters to announce that the Blue Jays were the winning bid, but the amount of players who have come over from Japan makes me weary of Yu. But I remain hopeful.
Having Romero, Yu, Morrow (still not sure what he is other than another cheaper AJ Bunett), Alvarez, Cecil and Drabek. I know this sounds like 2010 offseason all over again but if these guys all put it together than 90 wins could be insight.
Hearing that the Jays almost got Mat Latos got me excited. I cant wait for the moves AA has planned. I think Yu will solidify our pitching and will help the Jays move over the Red Sox and Yanks in 2012. Will it be enough to compete with the Rays – offensively yes but pitching I think they are almost there.
All we need right now is a Left Fielder, another pitcher (heres hoping its Yu – that put us into serious contention in the East in 2012) and an 8th inning guy. Heard the Jays were going after Joakim Soria – and a guy like that or Huston Street would anchor their backend for a while to come.
Its exciting to be a Jays fan right now – but the Jays will NOT sign Prince Fielder, Yu will make their pitching a lot more stable and help the Jays compete in 2012. Lets not get ahead of ourselves – Alex has a plan and lets just sit back and watch – enjoy this ride and enjoy booking tickets to see the Angels come into town so we can see Pujols now.