Few things are more Canadian than
hand-wringing about teenagers playing hockey looking to our neighbours to the south for approval and reveling in it when they give us attention. It’s an understandable cultural tick, I guess, if a bit curious — I mean, we have only about three million fewer people than California, and I’m pretty sure they’re not ever like, “holy shit! The flyover states are paying attention to us!” — but I figure it’s worth indulging from time to time, especially when the things being said are as uplifting as they were over the weekend. For the most part, at least…
“The Jays are a leading candidate to sign either Santana or Jimenez”
Those words aren’t mine– they actually come from ol’ Kenny Ken Ken, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Mind you, he doesn’t say “the leader,” but that’s still pretty terrific. So too is the heading on his section of his piece about the club; a simple, “Be patient, Jays fans.”
The club, he writes, “still figure to acquire one and possibly two starting pitchers once the logjam caused by Tanaka starts to resolve.”
Well that sure would be fucking nice, eh? And, of course, it makes all the sense in the world, despite what the Chicken Littles, and the folks convinced that because the Jays have yet to make a free agent splash of such magnitude during the Anthopoulos era they’ll never do it, will tell you. They said the same stuff last year, don’t forget, about increasing the payroll, about adding top talent, and about moving away from the prospect-focussed asset acquisition mode the front office had been in since Alex took the job.
How quickly, in a thick fog of anxiety, we forget about the talk of the $150-million payroll figure the club is still well south of, or the $14-million dollars that surely must have been earmarked for the potential of Josh Johnson coming back on a qualifying offer, or Alex Anthopoulos unequivocally stating that the rotation has to get better.
Or… OK, nothing about this off-season has exactly been quick, but money is there, need is there, and the pitchers are still there on a badly stagnant market that’s waiting on Tanaka — himself quite possibly waiting on the New York Yankees and the verdict in the A-Rod case, which could drastically impact the payroll structure of one of his biggest suitors. In other words, Rosenthal is bang on that patience remains key.
Unfortunately, at other times in the piece he’s talking about a whole other level of patience– at least when he talks about any pitcher that the Jays may be looking to add in trade. The club, he says, “remains involved in trade discussions for Samardzija and other starting pitchers,” however, “the Jays need not rush into anything. Samardzija still might be available in spring training or July. And other possibilities could arise; some team is bound to disappoint and trade off veterans, the way the White Sox did with Jake Peavy last season.”
He latter suggest that “the Jays need to weigh the current price for Samardzija against what it will take to acquire other starters in spring training or after the season begins. The longer they wait, the better they can assess their prospects as well.”
He’s entirely right, and I like the idea of actually looking beyond the current logjam, but… uh… let’s actually maybe get someone first.