It has been a disappointing offseason so far for many Blue Jay fans. The Jays’ bid fell short for Yu Darvish, Prince Fielder appears to be out of reach, and almost all of the big free agents are off the board.
Holes were filled in December: Sergio Santos, high leverage reliever; Kelly Johnson, second base. But it is now highly unlikely that the Jays will look significantly different to start the 2012 season than they did at the end of ’11.
With the understanding that the club has a solid young core of pitchers and position players and an incredibly deep farm system, Blue Jays fans should make a new year’s resolution this Saturday night: be patient in 2012.
It would have been exciting to see the Jays add one of the big ticket free agents this winter, but it’s pretty clear that Alex Anthopoulos is going to wait until the team has proven to be a legitimate contender before making a major free agent play. Unfortunately, the Jays have not proven to be a legitimate playoff contender yet.
The Jays will almost certainly be an improved team next season:
Johnson instead of Hill at 2B
Santos instead of Francisco/Rauch Closing games
Full season of Brett Lawrie
Rasmus in CF instead of Davis, Patterson etc.
Full season of Henderson Alvarez
Dustin McGowan back in the fold
The likelihood that young players like Arencibia, Romero, and Morrow will continue to develop.
So despite the fact that the online and traditional baseball media have linked the Jays to each and every free agent or trade target this winter, AA has been fairly quiet. It’s frustrating, but with just a bit more patience, the club will be in a much better position going forward for the long term.
We’re all long term Blue Jays fans, so we’ve got to try to trust AA and Co., who have done much to earn our loyalty since 2009; stay patient in 2012.