What do you do if you’re an MLB GM who missed out on the usual suspects that could have filled arguably the biggest need on your team?
Well, if you’re Alex Anthopoulos, I suppose you might go the quantity over quality route. Make no mistake — the Toronto Blue Jays franchise has certainly taken strides in acquiring infield depth over the last couple of weeks. The only problem? That depth is meant for the minor league level, which is to say that the Maicer Izturis/Ryan Goins-sized hole at second base is still alive and well.
That is, unless one were to believe that either infielder Jared Goedert (primarily a third baseman) and utility man Steve Tolleson are somehow going to emerge as the answers at some point.
They’re not, of course, and barring some disastrous injuries hitting the team in 2014, there’s a good chance that neither will end up seeing any time in the bigs with the Blue Jays at all in 2014. Don’t take that necessarily as an indictment to what GM Anthopoulos has (or hasn’t) been able to do this offseason either. After all, minor league depth is necessary in franchise building, and the fact that the team acquired some does not exclude them from landing a big league second baseman.
In short, there’s still time, even if the options aren’t easily apparent.
On the other hand, it sure doesn’t inspire too much confidence considering that Anthopoulos has mentioned the team’s comfort level with what they already have at second base, yes? While the Blue Jays are largely operating under the radar on both the pitching and second base front, other teams have taken steps to help fill their needs, whether it’s the Chicago White Sox pulling off trades to gather a young MLB-ready core, or the Kansas City Royals spending on Omar Infante.
Though there’s still the whole “ninja” narrative at play with the Blue Jays GM, it’s hard to shake the feeling that the inactivity this time around isn’t just a precursor to a major deal that no one has had a hint about. Not that gut feeling mean a whole lot, but it feels as though the team is actually willing to go into the 2014 season looking to contend with what might end up being a black hole at second base.
Is that just a byproduct of the other teams being busy? Perhaps, but even though reactionary moves aren’t always ideal, the fact that this Blue Jays team needed to do more than most to contend in the AL East in 2014 highlights their lack of activity. There are problem areas on the team, and they’re simply not being solved.
And in a matter of a few months, they will be forced to go into the season with those problems. While triple-A depth can certainly be a fringe part of the solution, it’s hardly an offseason sign of life from the team, you know?