Listen, Ricky Romero.
The Toronto Blue Jays believe in your ability to bounce back and be that All-Star ace they know you’re capable of. Yes, the road back from Single-A is Dunedin isn’t going to be easy, but the team has faith in you — they really, really do.
… but just in case things don’t work out, well, they’ve signed the guy who has your job through potentially the next three seasons:
— Richard Griffin (@RGriffinStar) March 28, 2013
Yikes. If this isn’t the the most direct message that the team could send after the Romero demotion, I don’t know what is.
As Griffin tweeted, it does seem a little strange that J.A. Happ‘s rather tumultous (and at times even … unhappy?) will-he-or-won’t-he saga with the Blue Jays this spring should end with him both winning the No. 5 job in the team’s rotation and getting a contract extension to buy out his final arbitration year.
For one, that will all but guarantee Happ’s place in the roster over the next couple of seasons, unless Toronto plans on making a habit of putting expensive pitchers in the minors.
Meanwhile, Romero still has $22.5 million to his name through 2015, so it’s not as though he’s necessarily going anywhere soon either — though, it does look like he might be in the minors for a while.
Hedging a breakout from Happ,
perhaps maybe? That’s not entirely out of the question, but even if it does, the team also have contract commitments to all of its other projected starters outside of Josh Johnson, so it’s possible that GM Alex Anthopoulos is preparing the team in case anything goes sour there.
Either way, it’s a bit of a left turn on a situation that’s seemly primed to play out in an odd-man-out scenario at some point this season. I’m sure more reaction will come later but first, Anthopoulos will have some answers when he officially announces the contract on Thursday morning.
After all, this contract didn’t come about by happenstan … okay, I’ll just stop myself there.