Toronto Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos did want to improve the starting rotation. He desperately did. The tragedy is that he was caught between three very large rocks.
Firstly, there were few free agents available and they were vastly over-priced. Look at how Minnesota over-paid for their two new starting pitchers that are not stratosphere guys. Yikes.
RHP Ricky Nolasco to a four-year, $49 million deal
RHP Phil Hughes to a three-year, $24 million deal
Thirdly, Alex Anthopoulos also could not get a free agent to come to Toronto because after the 2013 season, the Toronto Blue Jays are seen as injured, cursed losers who will not contend any time soon. Pitchers are not like supermarket products. They have free will where they want to go. The AL East is a hard place on pitchers. That is why Ervin Santana and Josh Johnson are in the National League. Bile tastes bad, doesn’t it?
I love the Jays, but without that pitching help that Anthopoulos said he would get, but couldn’t, the Jays are living on hope. They have little chance of winning the AL East. The competition in this Division got stronger, instead of weaker. The Jays have to play the AL East clubs more times than other teams outside their division, making that a tough hurdle to overcome.
One can say that it is too early to give up, but brothers and sisters, it already is too late to find a way to improve. The Jays have to wait several more years until their farm system makes them a power again. Then the free agents and deals will come easier. Everyone loves a winner.
Is there a possibility the Jays will win their division this year? Yes, but the vast majority of Jays players on the team would have to have career seasons. That is the only way. Hope that is the case.
The only fault with Alex Anthopoulos this off-season is not dishonesty. The man is the definition of integrity. He just did not have what Napoleon I valued in all his generals…. luck.