Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks with reporters during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous Plays it Smart

Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks with reporters during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 9, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos talks with reporters during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

So as the start of spring training is upon us it’s beginning to look like the Blue Jays may start 2014 with Dioneer Navarro as their only significant offseason acquisition. And although thanks to an incredible piece by Jays Journal’s Lucas Silva, I now know everything about Dioner Navarro, (apparently he wasn’t in Jane’s Addiction?)  having Navarro as your big prize makes for a shall we say underwhelming offseason, and well calling it underwhelming is honestly pretty underwhelming.

However even though  this total lack of any notable outside improvement let me be the first to stand up and give Alex Anthopoulos a high five, but not just a high five, a big black monster high five, one that would make Koji Uehara‘s assault on the Red Sox dugout look tame by comparison.

GIF property of NESN

GIF property of NESN

Now you may wonder why I would be extending such a congratulatory gesture to AA following such a lacklustre few months. And to be honest it is simply because he was able to show restraint and not overreact to the abysmal season turned in after the splashy moves made last offseason. Because honestly when there were reports that the Jays might be in on Jeff Samardzija for a package built around Aaron Sanchez AND Marcus Stroman, I was absolutely terrified. I somehow lived with them trading the top catching prospect in the game with J.P Arencibia as the incumbent. However had they followed that by dealing their top two pitching prospects… in the eternal words of Robert Downey Junior that could only be described as going full retard. And you never go full retard.

Not to fall into the trap of a hockey metaphor but the two teams in the Roger’s sports empire that play down at the Air Canada Center have spent the better part of the last two decades making reactionary trades to disastrous effects, think Andrew Raycroft and Vesa Toskala with the Leafs, or Jermaine O’Neal and Hedo Turkoglu with the Raptors.

So to see a GM that has confidence in his past moves and the roster he has built despite the incredible underperformance of the last season is refreshing. While I definitely would have liked to see a little more greenbacks flying around from the Jays’ front office and am worried about Rogers tightening the purse string and “payroll parameters” making a comeback, I’ll take that over them selling the farm.

Hopefully in the coming days or weeks the Jays will land Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana and make this post look like the ravings of a disgruntled crazy person. But even if the offseason comes and goes without any significant additions to the rotation I can rest easy knowing that AA has the cajones to not only pull of the big moves but also to do nothing.

Plus by not bringing in rotation help the fans can finally see if any of the hyped prospects in the system will actually deliver on their promise… and if they don’t then of course we can tear him  new one for his poor general managing, but until that time I’m saying big ups to AA for standing pat, and hey maybe Ricky Romero will remember how to pitch?!?

Next Blue Jays Game View full schedule »
Wednesday, Aug 2020 Aug12:10at Milwaukee BrewersBuy Tickets

Tags: Aaron Sanchez Alex Anthoplolous Blue Jays Marcus Stroman

  • brad

    I completely disagree. If the jays don’t add to the rotation this was not a smart off season. I’ll give you the fact that the trade for the shark would have been horrible but there’s no reason AA couldn’t have freed up/found a little salary and signed a pitcher(which still could happen). Stroman is a couple months away and Sanchez is a September callup best case. They dont have the pitching at the mlb level right now to be competitive…. I like the Navarro signing and the lack of killing the farm any more…. but I would lean towards suspicious glare more than a big black monster high five.

    • Jason Ramnauth

      Stroman has experience and success at double A. They saying the closet thing to the big leagues is double A

      • brad

        he only has 130 professional innings. Do we really expect him to put up the 200 they need at the mlb level?

  • Eric

    I think we should also trade for nick franklin out in Seattle then were ok

  • Jason Kerr

    I hear what you’re saying Brad, but the asking price is too much for a middle of the road pitcher. It might hurt us this season, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, however next years crop of starters that are free agents is more lucrative and save the money this season and grin and bear it. AA can’t do any worse than he did last season so if they finish better than they did last year and then add a high end starter that is coming due for resigning and then compete next year??

    I think that AA wants to give his guys a chance and see how their health is in Spring training before making a move maybe?

    Don’t get me wrong I want a proven starter as much as the next person. I just think what is out there right now isn’t worth the money they want.

    • brad

      I think you really are correct on all counts here…. depending on a bunch of things.
      The first and probably the biggest is the jays competitive window. By all accounts, Dickey and Beuhrle only have another 2-3 years or so…. this year included. Sacrificing this season(which I think is what is happening without another pitcher) means that when the jays expect to be competitive they will need another TWO pitchers on top of whoever they may sign out of the great crop next year. The hope would be that those two pitchers would be found in drabek/hutch/stroman/sanchez and that the extra experience they see next season(in the absence of another pitcher) would be beneficial…. the question I would then pose is: why hold on to Dickey and Beuhrle?? unless a lot of things break right this year(which really could happen) they don’t seem to fit into the time frame suggested by waiting till next offseason.

      The second is the nature of the market itself. Pitchers are not going to get cheaper on the FA market….ever. The Jays are in a hugely powerful position in that they have a protected pick and there are pitchers available this late. Since that pick is protected, they can offer a little more than other teams and still have it make sense…. all while keeping the contract tradable(since picks aren’t lost by trade). I agree with you when you say that what’s out there isn’t exactly inspiring but it’s getting to the point in the offseason where one of these guys may take a one year deal to re-establish some value… or take a three year deal along the lines of what lohse got last year. Either of these are financially acceptable imo. The Jays absolutely need another solid 200 inning pitcher.

      the third is that I highly doubt the crop next year will be as good as it looks now. I just don’t see guys like lester and scherzer hitting the market…. which leaves you with the same type of pitchers as this year looking for the same money if not more.

      Maybe a couple of nice rebound seasons and/or a deadline acquisition will save them but at this point I don’t think the rotation is good enough.

    • Rui Hanazawa

      Good article because this is most likely what is going to happen at the start of the year. Jason, we have the same thought process. I totally agree with standing pat for now due to the lack of quality arms right now. With that being said, I do expect an Ace sometime the end of the year if not by next season. No GM should operate within any window. I don’t want to see us gamble our future within 2-3 years and start rebuilding again for who knows when. I’m sure if AA wanted Tanaka, he could have gotten the approval from Rogers. Beeston specifically stated, Rogers have never said “No” to them. This isn’t about money so much as getting quality for value and right now there is none. We should be more worried about keeping our young core together, namely Rasmus.

  • Pingback: Great Toronto Blue Jays Links For February 17, 2014 | Toronto Blue Jays Dugout Online | Toronto Blue Jays Blog

  • Jason Kerr

    Gibby has said numerous times in the last few days (well since they reported for spring training) that they are happy with the depth in their pitching staff.

    I am going to be cynic here because honestly who wants to finish in 4th this year?

    I really hope that either one of our young arms or one of the veterans can come through this year and who knows have season careers and at least propel this team to a playoff game at least one …

  • Pingback: Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopolous Plays it Smart | YouMusic

  • JoseJose

    I read some blogs and other articles similar to this one that pretty
    much say we shouldn’t go after the big free agents because of lack of value. Or
    make the assumption that Toronto is somehow a small market team and we should
    be more thrifty like Tama Bay or Oakland . The Jays PR did a fantastic job
    brainwashing some of their fans buying into this BS. I believe this BS because
    I believe the Jays are a big market team. And sometimes it is okay for large
    markets to overpay – because it won’t hurt as much as if you were a small

    Don’t get me wrong. I love Tampa Bay and Oakland as an organization.
    Not only because they win but because of what they represent. Instead of waving
    a white flag and conceding to the big market teams such as the Yankees, they
    found other ways to gain competitive advantages. If they truly wanted to
    duplicate their model, they should head hunt their management staff (even if we
    have to overpay to obtain their services) rather than simply duplicating their cost
    saving methods. Tampa and Oakland have payroll constraints because they have
    lower revenues. The Jays on the other hand are artificially putting a payroll
    constraint on themselves because I think they feel confident that they will not
    lose their fan base (no other Canadian MLB teams to root for).

    What do you call someone who is sitting on a competitive advantage and
    choses not to use it?.. Stupid. The blue jays are stupid for not using their
    huge advantage and essentially buying the best team possible. Contrary to what
    many Blue Jays believe, we are a BIG market team. Toronto is the 3rd largest
    city in the MLB and the Jays have the audience of the rest of Canada as well. I
    know that spending the most does not guarantee you to be in the playoffs or win
    a championship, but it doesn’t hurt your chances either.

    It’s funny how different the Yankees fans react to free agents from
    Blue Jays fans. Yankees fans may say, “We want a championship and if he is the
    best player in that position out there, we need him, even if we have to go over
    the luxury tax or overpay.” What Blue Jays fans say about the same player, “We
    do want to win, and we do have a gaping black hole in that position, and I do
    agree he is the best free agent out there, but we need to find someone who
    brings more value or a shorter contract.”

    If we don’t want to spend money on top-tier players through free agency
    or lose valuable prospects through trade, we need to develop talent from within
    (something we don’t have a good track record for). If we don’t have the talent
    from within, we are lucky to be a big market and have the $$$ to go after the
    big names. What happens if we don’t develop in-house superstars and don’t use
    our big market advantage go after the big free agents… Maybe a perennial 4th
    or last place finishing team. Wait a minute… I just defined the Blue Jays.