Just catching up on some old noise here, which comes from Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, who yesterday informed us that the Jays “are unlikely to acquire righty Matt Garza from the Cubs, major-league sources say.”
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, as the prospect price for Garza will be high, and it seems almost inevitable that some other, more desperate club will value his two remaining years of service more than the Jays would.
That, of course, might lead Jays fans to wonder, why aren’t they more desperate? “The Jays do not appear especially interested in righties Hiroki Kuroda and Roy Oswalt,” Rosenthal adds. “They also are unlikely to pursue righty Edwin Jackson, who reportedly is seeking a five-year, $60 million deal.”
It’s not an especially difficult question when you see the price tag on Jackson, even though he’s a reliably average innings-eating starter with some upside. Unless, of course, you’re still of the delusion that Rogers ought to be geared up to throw cash around on anything, just to prove their loyalty to the fans. The money, and especially the term, is too tough to swallow unless the price comes down.
Oswalt and Kuroda would come cheaper and on shorter deals, but they’re not without baggage, and ultimately, they’re really just high cost ways to avoid the club giving a rotation spot to an untested kid.
Would the Jays be better off in 2012 doing so? Probably– though I don’t see Kuroda being all that interested in pitching here, and I worry about Oswalt’s lower back (“He reportedly has two degenerative discs in his lower back and while he has never undergone back surgery, he has had numerous cortisone shots,” said an ESPN report in early November. “As recently as June, when the recurrent pain sent him to the disabled list for six weeks, Oswalt talked about possibly having to retire because of the injury.”).
Would they be better off in the long run? I’m not entirely sure. But I can’t imagine adding a one-year mid-rotation starter that much of a setback– and that’s where the front office’s difficulty in deciding how to approach this off-season must lie. And at this point, they’re running the risk doing it half-assed, patching together a nice bullpen, a nice core of hitters, burning another year of Jose Bautista’s prime, and not having the horses in the rotation to back it all up.
Can we fault them for not going all in to acquire a pitcher in what’s probably a fruitless year-too-early pursuit of a playoff spot? Not really. Not at what it’s going to cost them in prospect terms for just two years of Garza.
If we’re talking about just money, though, that’s a different story. Fortunately, it’s a story that doesn’t need to be written yet. Alex Anthopoulos still has time to pull a rabbit out of his hat, and there’s no reason to expect he won’t. Until we see how the market for starters plays out over the rest of the winter, it’s too soon for pissing and moaning.