All the attention Ervin Santana is getting and the pressure Blue Jays player are putting on Alex Anthopoulos has got me a bit frustrated. This frustration has made me revisit some negative feelings about athletes that I have buried deep down. I am torn between being upset with Blue Jays players, in my eyes, begging Santana to sign with Toronto or applauding them for trying to entice Santana to sign here.
From time to time I forget that this game that I follow and love so much is a business. I also forget that these players aren’t playing for me or you, but are playing for themselves and their next big payday. I am not a fool, although by the end of this post you might feel differently. I understand that this ‘business’ of free agency, trades, promotion and demotions, 24-hour media attention while having to perform on the field takes a toll. What I don’t understand is a player trying to squeeze a few extra pennies from a team on a one-year contract.
Ervin Santana can sign with Toronto, Minnesota, Atlanta, or Timbuktu for all I care. It is my opinion that with or without Santana the Blue Jays will be the same team as they were last. What team is that you ask? The Blue Jays are a team that will need to be healthy to compete and if they aren’t… well, we have another year of .500 ball or worse on our hands. I’m okay with that because I will continue to love watching the Blue Jays regardless of what happens this year. I am probably one of the more patient fans, as long as we don’t turn into the Cubs, I know that we will eventually find a way to build a winner.
I think that the added pressure from Blue Jays players are actually making Alex’s job more difficult. I think that Santana is the best FA still available from a poor FA crop this off-season. It isn’t like Alex didn’t make offers. It isn’t like the Jays weren’t rumored to be interested in every FA out there, well not everyone. I don’t know if these rumors were true or fabrications put out to the media by agents (Please refer to Scott Boras). What I do is that I don’t want my GM to overpay a premium for an average major league pitcher or any player to come to Canada. I don’t want to have our players publicly begging in an attempt to persuade FA’s to pick this team. It screams desperation and should be considered a slap in the face to the guys competing for a spot in the rotation. It is like that kid in the school yard that want to play so bad that they feel the need to jump up and down screaming, “PICK ME, PICK ME.” It’s sad.
I know that J.A. Happ, Kyle Drabek, Todd Redmond, and Esmil Rogers haven’t come out the gates like grey hound casing a bone. Does this mean that they are all no-talents? I don’t think so. These guys are talented players, who trained hard all winter just for a shot at make a contribution to our Toronto Blue Jays. These guys have pitched a few innings and have not looked very impressive, but it is just a couple innings here and there under a 2-week span. You think that the LA Dodgers are looking at Clayton Kershaw’s 10.00 ERA over 3 games and 9 innings and thinking about releasing… I don’t think so. I know Clayton Kershaw is not in the same league as the guy we have fighting for the 4th and 5th spot in our rotation, but Ervin Santana isn’t either.
I think that all the Blue Jays position players should focus on getting ready for the regular season by getting their timing down and staying healthy (remember that is key), all the Blue Jays pitchers should focus on getting mechanics ironed out and staying healthy, and leave the recruiting player in March to Alex Anthopoulos and his team… after all that is their job. And the best way to get FA’s to sign with you and not having to pay premium prices is by winning, and don’t give me that you need to spend money to win crap, look how well that worked for us last year or the Anaheim Angel.
P.S. Now that I have written this Ervin Santana is going to sign with the Blue Jays and be the 2014 Cy Young Award winner.