There are only seven days to go before pitchers and catchers report to Dunedin, FL for the start of Spring Training for the Toronto Blue Jays. The team that occupied the basement of the American League East last season still hasn’t shown that they are committed to rebounding in 2014, as their starting pitching rotation is still anything but complete.
It was only a week ago that the rumor mill surrounding the Blue Jays finally started to pick up in regards to their apparent pursuit of free agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana. Since then, absolutely no agreement or any signs of dialogue between Jimenez, Santana and the Jays have come to fruition. Instead, Alex Anthopoulos and his front office appear to be counting their pennies in small stacks, in hopes that either one of the free agent starters comes around on signing for a less than generous contract.
Anthopoulos’ lackluster offseason seems to have become the norm as he sits back and waits for Jimenez or Santana to take the small bite that he and the Jays are offering. It’s unclear why the Jays’ GM thinks he has the upper-hand in the situation, as Toronto is a tough enough place to draw in free agents in any major sport that the city competes in. If Anthopoulos isn’t careful, I wouldn’t be surprised if another team or two sticks their head into the conversation and reels in one of or both free agents right before Spring Training begins.
While most fans of the Jays continue to hold on to the idea that their team is a shoo-in to sign one of or perhaps both Jimenez and Santana, those that take a closer look at the situation realize why that shoe may be a tough fit. As Toronto is not necessarily a desirable place to play baseball on a daily basis, along with the fact that they are showing exactly how stingy they can be as a franchise, the ball club may very well be forced to complete their rotation by handing the ball over to one of their prospects, or perhaps a starting pitcher who has failed them in the past due to a lack of pure talent or because of a nagging injury.
For now, the excitement surrounding the quickly approaching start of Spring Training can be put on the back-burner for fans of the Jays. The lack of urgency that fills the team’s front office is absolutely unbelievable and will most likely come back to shoot them in the foot. Don’t be surprised if Jimenez and Santana both end up elsewhere, as Anthopoulos and his team still show no signs of caring to upgrade or even complete an already suspect starting pitching rotation.