The Toronto Blue Jays have made it clear that they will not be giving Josh Johnson the $14.1 million qualifying offer that was expected from them since the MLB offseason began. General manager Alex Anthopoulos now has his work cut out for him, as the team is need of starting pitching help.
Given Anthopoulos’ track record, he will most likely try his best to obtain solid starting pitching via trade, rather than make a big free-agent signing. It’s hard enough to attract a free agent to the city of Toronto, let alone having a GM that won’t sign anyone for longer than five years at a time. Anthopoulos is now under a lot of pressure to make a move and to make it fast.
All seemed well north of the border last offseason when Anthopoulos made some big-time moves acquiring Johnson, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey. However, after a very disappointing season where the Blue jays finished just 74-88, good enough for last in the American League East, unrest has settled in once again. The Blue Jays will most likely now be forced to trade away what they have left in terms of top prospects, and perhaps more, in order to strengthen their starting rotation.
In regards to prospects, Aaron Sanchez could very well be on his way out and whether Blue Jays fans like it or not, he could be packaged alongside someone such as Jose Bautista. If the Blue Jays want to acquire a big name in the starting pitching scene, they are going to have to give up someone that will make a big difference on another team’s lineup. Whether that is a top prospect in Sanchez, or a big bat in Bautista, Blue Jays fans should get ready for another big splash.