The Toronto Blue Jays may want to wait out the pitching market for the right price to fall into their laps, but they may be waiting a bit longer for it to happen. According to an interesting post by John Lott at the National Post, the available pitchers, specifically Ervin Santana, are willing to wait to get the right deal, and there is no deadline date for it to happen.
In an interview with Bean Stringfellow, the agent for Ervin Santana, noted that reports that two reports, one saying his client asked for a 5-year, $112 million deal and another saying that the Blue Jays had offered the right-hander a 3-year, $27 million pact were both false.
“That’s completely inaccurate. That’s the first I’ve heard of that. I see so much misinformation communicated out there that it’s incredible. I just choose not to participate in it.” – Bean Stringfellow (h/t National Post)
The rumored offer by the Blue Jays is not so out of line with what we’ve heard of late, even if it is out of line with what either of these pitchers thinks they are worth. The Blue Jays feel that by waiting out the market, some agent if going to crawl to them and beg to sign on the dotted line for that offer. Those agents feel otherwise.
“The calendar doesn’t really affect us in that regard.The teams need the pitching by opening day. That’s when the bell rings. I think a lot of clubs might think that as [opening day] gets closer, the price comes down. I would simply say to that, ‘You’re not filling your need for pitching, so I don’t know why our value is any less when your need is still as great as what it was.’ ”
That sounds an awful lot like an agent drawing a line in the sand and letting clubs know that they’ll need to come up to his terms if they want to land his client. In fairness, Stringfellow has recent history on his side as well.
It wasn’t until March 25th of last season that Kyle Lohse, left dangling in the wind with a qualifying offer, finally signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, inking a 3-year, $33 million deal and costing the Brewers the 17th pick in the draft. That wasn’t far off from the $13.3 million qualifying offer that Lohse had turned down earlier in the winter.
Meanwhile Santana, and to the same degree Ubaldo Jimenez, look at that deal and know that eventually a team will come to them. Whether is be the Toronto Blue Jays, the Baltimore Orioles, the Seattle Mariners, or any other team attached to these arms, someone will eventually come up to a respectable price or they’ll go home empty.
For the Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays, that’s going to be a tough decision to make. Do they cave, do they stay the course and hope the price comes down, or do they resign themselves to going into the season with what they have for arms and hope 2013 was an anomaly and that 2014 will be the exception? Regardless there is plenty of time for this to shake out, and Stringfellow knows it.
“There’s plenty of time between now and opening day.” – Bean Stringfellow
It all comes down to patience and who has more of it. The Cat or the Mouse?