Toronto Blue Jays Offseason In Review: Part 2

By Mark Hock

In part one of our offseason review, we took a look at the first 5 majors moves made by GM Alex Anthopoulos. In part two we’ll take a look at some of the other big signings and trades made by the  Toronto Blue Jays.

#6 Jason Frasor re-acquired for Daniel Webb and Myles Jaye

Frasor has had an up and down season – he’s been effective in the late innings for the Jays this season, but when he got hit he got hit hard. Jays fans don’t give him enough credit for the work he did. While he wasn’t at his best, his 4 ERA doesn’t show nearly how effective he was. And considering the Jays gave up a pair of non-prospects for him, it was a solid addition to the bullpen.

#7 Brandon Morrow extended for 3 years and $21 million

The extension came at a perfect time, as Brandon Morrow finally delivered on the promise he had shown throughout his career. Over 13 starts Morrow went 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA, dominant numbers for the Jays potential ace. However, Morrow does come with risks, and this season he missed some time on the disabled list. He’s never pitched 200 innings, and he’ll likely struggle to reach that plateau. But the Jays saved a ton of money by signing him before the season, as his asking price would be a lot higher now based on the dominant performance.

#8 Omar Vizquel signed to a minor league deal

While you can argue that Vizquel has made an impact in the clubhouse, he simply has been a waste of a roster space. His 493 OPS isn’t going to cut it even if he was playing stellar defence, but that hasn’t been the case. He was a fantastic player, but at this point it’s time for the Jays to move on from Vizquel. Not a good signing at the time, and Vizquel performed even worse than even the most pessimistic fan would have suggested.

#9 Francisco Cordero signed to a 1 year deal worth $4.5 million

Cordero posted good numbers in 2011, but given the declining strikeout rate little was expected. But Cordero completely regressed and was an absolute disaster. He was one of the worst relievers in baseball this season, and because he had been a closer in his past the Jays made him one when Sergio Santos went down with injury. Cordero had a flair for blowing up in epic proportions, bringing out the boo-birds in full force. This was without a doubt the worst move of the offseason, and it cost the Jays several games.

#10 Casey Janssen signed to a 2 year $5.9M deal with a $4M team option for 2014

A pending free agent, Janssen was extended before the season started. He’d shown improvement over the past two years, and was downright dominant in 2011. He showed that he was one of the best relievers in the American League this year, going 1-1 with a 2.27 ERA and earning 14 saves in his first season as a closer.

Janssen could very well be the Jays closer of the future, even when the dynamicSantosreturns next season. He’s been an outstanding reliever, and the Jays extended him at the right time to ensure that he won’t leave for free agency or earn a big pay cheque. That’s how you build a quality bullpen, and Janssen has looked unhittable since his move to the closers role.

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