The Toronto Blue Jays payroll is sitting around $120+M for the 2013 season, and we haven’t even reached the Winter Meetings. This is unprecedented territory for the organization that had it’s biggest payroll going into a season at almost $98M in 2008. For all intents and purposes, after all the talent acquired via trades and free agent signings so early in the offseason, one would think that the Jays are done acquiring talent, although that does not seem to be the case.
#BlueJays stance on payroll sounds the same as before. Beeston believes there’s an ability to add more if right opportunity presented itself.
-Gregor Chisholm @gregorMLB
MLB reporter Gregor Chisholm tweeted this message after a media scrum with Alex Anthopoulos, who believes that the team will be ready to acquire more talent not only for 2013 but for future years. While this has been hinted at being minor league free agents for the club’s new AAA affiliate, Buffalo Bisons, there seems to be a want for more pitching depth at the major league level. It seems like a smart move to make if you have a willing front office that will allow even more of an increased payroll, seeing as Chad Jenkins is your 6th starter in terms of depth.
While it may be an excellent sign that Rogers is willing to spend to compete, we must remind ourselves that signing those big contracts in no way guarantees a World Series, let alone a playoff berth. The Chicago Cubs have had a payroll of $100M+ since 2008 and while it did give them an immediate playoff berth, they have yet to return to the playoffs since that first year. The Boston Red Sox have spent a lot of money to achieve success in the 21st Century, however after bumping their payroll an additional $40+M from 2009-2010 they have fallen short of reaching the post season. In the same 2010-2012 span, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have increased their payroll from $113M-$151M, yet they have not made the playoffs since 2009, as well.
That said, the Blue Jays can approach their roster needs with a good fiscal payroll approach if they are careful. Darren Oliver is heavily considering retirement and may only pitch if he is traded to the Texas Rangers so he can be close to his family. The opportunity to package Oliver and one of the many catchers the Blue Jays have on their 40 man roster might yield some valuable assets that the Jays need, like left-handed relief and possible infield prospects. Heck, they might even want to acquire some affordable starting pitching in return.
Divisional rivals are starting to ramp up their off season moves, like the Yankees signing Andy Pettitte, Hiroki Koroda and Mariano Rivera to 1 year/$10M+ contracts. The Blue Jays are already in the conversation for making the 2013 post season with their big off season moves, however the small key moves that optimize the team might be the way to lead them to the promised land.