The Toronto Blue Jays search for starting pitching continues, albeit very slowly. And when things go slowly, people throw out reports and the masses jump to it. Take for instance the following tweet from Andrew Rickli of SportsReelBoston.
— Andrew Rickli (@AndrewRickli) January 25, 2014
Now, I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with Rickli’s work, or whether his “sources” are dependable to not. That said, I’m going to take the tweet above with a grain of salt. However, it follows along the logic that we’ve witnessed in the last few days.
Matt Garza‘s still pending signing with the Milwaukee Brewers, for a measly 4-year, $52 million commitment, made Blue Jays fans wonder why Toronto wasn’t involved. With his deal now held up, by what may very well be an issue with his physical, settles that argument a bit. However, it still points the Blue Jays towards looking elsewhere, and with Ervin Santana’s demands coming down into the 4-year, $60 million range, which may put him more in the Blue Jays wheel-house.
Santana may not be the sexiest name in the long-run, but at least the long-term commitment makes eating a mistake a bit easier to swallow. Granted, Santana may have some appealing qualities to the Blue Jays.
Over the last three years, Santana has enjoyed a favorable turn in his ground-ball to fly-ball ratio, seeing it his ground-ball rates rise into the solid 40% range while watching his fly-ball rates decline.
2010 – 35.2%
2011 – 43.5%
2012 – 43.2%
2013 – 46.2%
2010 – 42.7%
2011 – 37.9%
2012 – 37.3%
2013 – 32.9%
Now, while his fly-ball rates have declined, his home run numbers still sit in a relatively uncomfortable range, with Santana averaged 29.5 long-balls over the last four seasons. That may not be the type of mix we want to introduce to the homer-friendly confines of Rogers Centre, but beggers can’t be choosers at this stage.
Perhaps the Blue Jays can talk Santana down into the same range as Garza, especially considering that the team would need to sacrifice a 2nd round pick in next year’s draft to secure him. Ubaldo Jimenez comes with the same level of risk, and sacrifice of a pick, but with likely higher demands.
Of course, this could all still be straight speculation, someone trying to make something happen on the internet on a slow day, so he prods the masses of the two markets that have done next to nothing.
So will the Blue Jays make good on this pursuit? Will they sit back and declare their work done for the winter? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.