Remember the movie The Good, The Bad and The Ugly where three desperadoes are staring at each other wondering who is going to start a gun fight? Well, the negotiations between the Toronto Blue Jays and starting pitchers/free agents Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez are a lot like that scene. Each of the three is waiting to see who will flinch first and each one desperate that they do not make a mistake.
What is going on cowpoke, you ask? Why partner, it is a colossal game of chicken, is all. Santana and Jimenez both left their respective teams to be free agents, searching for treasure and rejecting the options that were on them. That means these two free agent hombres have to find teams who are willing to give up a draft pick to compensate their former clubs. Oh, Santana and Jimenez also want a heck of lot of loot for three or more years to boot and that ain’t Boot Hill sonny. Santana is staring at Jays GM Alex Anthopolous who is staring at Jimenez who is… Who will pull the trigger? Who will have no bullets in their pistols? Who will be buzzard meat?
The Toronto Blue Jays are one city slicker team that has an extra draft pick in their pocket pilgrim, they got that when their 2013 first round draft pick, Phillip Bickford, failed to sign. Because the Jays did so poorly last year, they have two guaranteed picks. Presumably, the Jays have money too. Rogers got big saddlebags boy, they say.
The Jays have a big need for a durable starter that can pitch 200 innings, no matter if GM Alex Anthopolous says the team has pitching depth for 2014. Well, he is right, they do, but a lot of it depends on luck, players reaching unfulfilled potential and not being hit by the injury plague like the last two years. So there is a need, but the Jays will not admit it… bad for negotiations dude.
Santana and Jimenez do not want to go back to their home teams. It would be like being looked upon as prodigal sons going back to dad with their ten gallon hats in hand. The Jays do not want to over spend and they do not like losing a draft pick for someone who does not make the grade… aka Josh Johnson.
So with the howling coyote music of Ennio Morricone swirling in the background… wha-ah-ah-wha-wha-wha… (sorry, could not resist), the three parties stare at each in a circle… perhaps… till March? Will other desperado teams show up to make this a blood bath? Wha-ah-ah-wha-wha-wha…
Will Alex Anthopolous be Blondie, Tuco or Angel Eyes? Like the movie, someone is going to get a lot of money… someone else is going to lie face down partner. wha-ah-ah-wha-wha-wha…