It’s Time for Blue Jays to Send a Clear Message


Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The time for pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training has come and gone, with the Jays still holding onto hope that they sign a pitcher this off-season. But enough of the hope.

Ubaldo Jimenez will go to the Orioles, pending physical, A.J. Burnett will go to the Phillies. That leaves one big name left, Ervin Santana.

The good news is that one of the teams rumoured to be in contact with Santana was the Orioles. Now that they are in the process of finalizing a deal with Jimenez, the Jays can look to close a deal with Santana.

But will they?

The late-developing free agent market had a lot to do with the delay in teams being able to bid and make deals for Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. And A.J. Burnett’s late decision to test the market rather than retiring also changed some GM’s gameplans.

Still, other teams around the league are, for the most part, set. They may still do some tinkering, sure, all teams certainly will throughout the year.

At this point, the Jays could drag out whether or not they are signing Santana to a deal for days, maybe weeks. But why would they want to? Why cast doubt over the team? Wouldn’t it be better to enter the spring with some certainty?

It would be nice to get a clear message at this point. Something like: After seeing the proposed deal for Jimenez, the price is too rich for us now.  Or, we have full support of our young starters and the opportunity to add an arm has passed. Or an even clearer message, doing what needs to be done so that Santana gets signed to a deal as soon as possible.

The Jays either want Santana, or they don’t. If the price is too high, or the term is too long, don’t bother, it’s not likely to change any time soon. If they’re not interested in him that much as a viable starter, then say so.

Being an enigmatic team may provide advantages during the off-season, but no one cares now. Fans certainly want to have an idea of how the team will look next season. And even though nothing is set in the spring, players might want a better idea of where they stand in the organization for the season.

With a new catcher at the helm in Dioner Navarro, and with Josh Thole likely to be given more playing time, giving them as much time as possible to prepare and get to know about the pitchers they will be working with is something that should be given a high priority.

The Jays need to either do something or nothing, and make their minds up about it soon.