That’s what ESPN’s Matt Meyers says in an (insider only) piece, posted today as part of an ESPN.com series taking an early look at free agency, that’s kind of mind-boggling for a few reasons.
First of all, it’s an ESPN piece that not only actually paints the Jays in a positive light, but correctly identifies Toronto as being a large market, and notes that “part of the reason Toronto stopped being a big-spending club was the fact that the Canadian dollar was so much weaker than the American dollar, but that is no longer the case.” True that. Seriously, is this really ESPN???
Secondly, it actually gets straight to the fucking nut of exactly what this debate has been about among Jays fans themselves. Meyers makes three main arguments: that the Jays have the need for Prince Fielder, that they have the money, and that can’t waste Jose Bautista’s prime waiting for prospects to develop in behind him.
Third, and most mind-blowingly, for me at least, it points out that Fielder is actually a year younger than Adam Lind. How the fuck had this never occurred to me?!??!?
I’m not saying that Meyers alone has pushed me off the fence on this one, but the argument about wasting Bautista’s prime, coupled with Lind’s befuddlingly vomiticious second half, simmered with a pinch of supreme confidence that Alex Anthopoulos could make even the worst contract in the world disappear, if it ever came to that, thrown in for good measure? It’s more than a little fucking enticing.
And frankly, on the days where I side with those who fiercely believe in the image of Alex’s spend-shy stay-the-course farm-first philosophy the most, I suspect it’s mostly because I tend to quickly forget just how aggressive he is, how ruthless he can be, and how often he gambles– on the Bautista contract, on Adeiny Hechavarria, on trading a fan favourite like John McDonald, on the promise of a Yunel Escobar or Brett Lawrie over the hot stick of Alex Gonzalez or the arm of staff leader Shaun Marcum.
Anthopoulos manages the Jays’ assets smartly, but certainly not passively. I wouldn’t at all put the prospect of going hard after Fielder– who is seventh in the NL in wOBA and wRC+ and whose down years have still been 100 points of OPS better than the Jays’ second best hitter– past him.
Sure. Why not?
Image via Google and some guy on some website who didn’t credit it.