In an impressive piece of work that he does every year, at ESPN.com (Insider only), Jim Bowden has listed his top 50 free agents, providing suggestions as to the best fits, little tidbits of information about each, and predictions of the terms of the contracts they’ll eventually sign– which, as you may recall, were eerily accurate in last year’s version of this exercise.
Because of this, and in spite of the fact that it’s a piece written by Jim Bowden, I think it’s certainly worth taking a look at all of the Jays-related things he’s saying. Which… um… isn’t a whole hell of a lot.
Which makes sense, because the thing is, despite all the talk we’ve heard of Rogers ponying up more dough for Alex Anthopoulos to spend than usual this off-season– which they may well actually do– their benevolence isn’t quite as impressive as they’d like you to think. Money is flowing around baseball like beer that flows like wine, and free agents will be flocking elsewhere like the salmon of Capistrano.
As Scott Boras says: “Every team is going to have another $25 million in revenue through the national TV packages. They’re going to be making between $110 million and $120 million (including other revenue streams) before they sell a ticket. It’s a different financial model.”
In other words, thanks, Rogers, for your piddly attempt to make it look like you’re almost, kinda-sorta, maybe going to keep spending in line with inflation league-wide!
But, OK, there are a few Jays-related things in Bowden’s piece, most notably his comment on Edwin Jackson– his 13th best free agent, who he sees getting a three-year, $30-million deal, and of whom he says “Toronto seems most interested.”
Hey, I’ll take it. Add Jackson and another arm through trade and the Jays will have done pretty nicely for themselves.
Bowden also suggests that the Jays are, among others, a fit for Ryan Dempster– who he likes more and thinks will be cheaper than Jackson– as well as: Brandon McCarthy (they’ve contacted his agent, Bowden says), Melky Cabrera, Shaun Marcum (he obviously hasn’t heard Jeff Blair on the subject), Jeremy Guthrie, and Scott Baker.
Shit, I’ll take any of those, frankly. Anyone who might actually want to take money here, why the hell not?