November has come and gone, and with it the excess of Black Friday. However, one thing that still has yet to reach that excess level is the Toronto Blue Jays and their activity on the Hot Stove. However, with a week to go before everyone in Major League Baseball turns their focus toward the annual Winter Meetings, things are likely to heat up soon.
Take Jeff Samardzija for instance, he was all the rage a week or so ago, but the noise around him has seemingly died down a bit. According to Nick Cafardo at the Boston Globe, that isn’t because there isn’t interest to move him, but rather that the Cubs would still prefer to extend him than trade him. The Blue Jays are one of the purported teams to be interested in him, but the feeling here is that the Cubs aren’t getting the type of proposals that will make them move Samardzija, so they are going back down the road to an extension in hopes of maximizing their value.
Why are we not hearing more about the Blue Jays and any interest in starter Bronson Arroyo. Sure, Arroyo is 36-years-old and is essentially a junk-ball thrower, but he’s durable, averaging 211 innings over the last seasons, and has posted an ERA under 4.00 four of the last five seasons despite pitching in the Great American Bandbox. With a two year deal and an option year, Arroyo may not be a bad bet to add to the rotation.
Speaking of available pitchers, our buddy Jay Blue discusses how the Blue Jays may match up with the San Diego Padres as trade partners. San Diego is known to be wanting a left-handed hitter with some power and is willing to part with Burch Smith, Eric Stults and Robbie Erlin to get one. The Blue Jays happen to have one that could be available in Adam Lind, although names like Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross may be a bit more appealing to Toronto. Cashner may be a great add, but considering he cost San Diego Anthony Rizzo to land him, the Blue Jays may have to give up a bit more than Lind to bring him north of the border.
Speaking of trading, the aforementioned Nick Cafardo asks, “Don’t the Blue Jays have to trade Jose Bautista to remake the team?” Of course, the question Cafardo may be more appropriate, if the team was looking to remake the squad. However, last year’s trades by the Blue Jays left them in a win-now mode that doesn’t lend well to a rebuild phase. Otherwise, Toronto would surely be driving the final Marlins nail in their coffin with fans. Sure, trading Bautista would net the team something of consequence, but the teams needing his services are not about to surrender a controllable number 1 or 2 starter to do so. In return, the Blue Jays aren’t likely to make that move only to go back out to tray and land a bat to replace Bautista either. It looks good in imagination land, but becomes much more difficult to swing if the team intends to contend in 2014.
One question that Blue Jays fans should be asking themselves is, “why are the notoriously cheap Minnesota Twins spending money like they’ve been hoarding it for years, while the Blue Jays sit in silence?” Let’s hope the answer has something to do with a move of consequence rather than standing pat. Sure, we’re talking Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes, but at least they are doing something.
Finally, there is talk that the New York Yankees and top free agent Robinson Cano are a good $100 million apart. Cano has purportedly lowered his asking price to nine-years, $260 million ($28.8 million AAV), with the Yankees countering somewhere in the seven-year, $175 million deal ($25 million AAV). Now, the Blue Jays would never enter an arena for that type of scratch, or that long of a term involved. However, they do have a need at second base and landing Cano would be quite the splash, just not the one the team needs.