The Toronto Blue Jays have dug themselves into what looks to be an even deeper hole in the AL East with their incomplete starting pitching rotation. Now that the New York Yankees have reportedly signed Japanese hurler Masahiro Tanaka, the rest of the viable free agent pitchers on the market will most likely be signed before the Super Bowl, without any indication of any of them signing with the Jays.
These pitchers are going to come at a premium, and premium signings are not something that Alex Anthopoulos and his front office are comfortable with.
The Bronx Bombers have once again stole the show with yet another mega-deal to bolster their squad while the Jays continue to try and figure out how they can find two special arms to fill out their rotation. What Anthopoulos doesn’t seem to understand is that not every team in MLB is willing to give up a power arm for whatever he has left in his minor league tank, especially if he isn’t willing to give up the likes of Aaron Sanchez and/or Marcus Stroman.
With the unlikelihood of any team willing to trade down with the Jays and Anthopoulos believing that the pitchers on the free agent market are too expensive, the Jays are stuck between a rock and a hard place. They will now most likely be forced to use Stroman in their rotation a lot earlier than they anticipated.
If they don’t go that route, names such as J.A. Happ, Dustin McGowan or even Ricky Romero may be tossed around in regards to who will occupy the final two spots in the rotation. If I were a big-time hitter in the AL East, I would be licking my chops at the sight of the bottom end of Toronto’s rotation. Any time you catch a glance of the name ‘Romero’ on the lineup card, you know things could get ugly very quickly.
The only other option that Anthopoulos has is to come to terms with the fact that he has been wrong all along. He needs to tell himself that he should be willing to sign free agents and that he can’t outsmart every GM or owner in baseball in order to get what he wants. If the Jays don’t put up the money to sign someone like Matt Garza or Ervin Santana, Romero meatballs are going to be on the menu for their opponents every fifth day of the season.
That sounds like a tasty treat for a lot of people, but not for Blue Jays fans.