After watching their roster underachieve on a number of levels in 2013, the Toronto Blue Jays front office has a lot of work to do in regards to figuring out how to make their team finally live up to their potential next season. GM Alex Anthopoulos is always expected to make a move or two, and according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post the Blue Jays are definitely players in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes.
Although Tanaka’s stock isn’t as high as what Yu Darvish‘s was when MLB teams were bidding on him two seasons ago, Tanaka is still very desirable as he would surely add more fire power and stability within the middle of the Blue Jays rotation. The Blue Jays were once proclaimed favorites to land Darvish but were narrowly outbid by the Texas Rangers. That fact alone should give the Blue Jays front office more than enough motivation to seek out Tanaka’s services. They don’t want to be outbid again.
In 2013 Tanaka posted a Japanese Pacific League best 1.27 ERA while racking up 24 wins in 28 appearances. It doesn’t get much better than that, and with those types of numbers it is clear that he will be a most coveted option for teams in the hunt for a star right hander. The Blue Jays can choose to be very aggressive in the matter, but given their track record of trying their best to be secretive and under the radar may not serve them well.
Sherman also lists the always aggressive New York Yankees along with the Boston Red Sox, Rangers, San Francisco Giants, and Arizona Diamondbacks as all potential big players in landing a deal with Tanaka.
If the Blue Jays want to ice the prized Japanese right hander and bring him to Toronto they need to change their ways of beating around the bush and just go for the gusto. They will not have a chance to out-duel the likes of the Yankees and the Red Sox when it comes down to making these types of transactions. Look for Anthopoulos to have to change his ways if he wants to make it two offseasons in a row where he looks to bolster his club’s starting rotation.