Toronto Blue Jays general manager made an appearance on Sportsnet’s Prime Time Sports on Tuesday to discuss a number of topics, ranging from the status of Marcus Stroman, resting Drew Hutchison, and the demotion of Liam Hendriks. However, the single biggest item in the discussion, at least for me, was the talk of extensions for Toronto’s upcoming free agents.
At the end of the season, the Blue Jays are going to be in quite a bind in regards to their outfield situation, with both Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera set to hit the free agent market. That is going to set up an uncomfortable situation for the Blue Jays where they are either going to have to talk extensions with Melky and/or Rasmus, or they’ll have to look for a viable replacement either internally or within the organization.
Anthopoulos addresses the possibility of an extension at the 8:40 mark on the video below, noting that the team is not likely to negotiate a contract extension with either player prior to the end of the season. While they don’t want to rule it out, the Blue Jays prefer not to create a distraction during the season.
That is somewhat of a risky proposition for the Blue Jays, as the alternatives to both are lackluster to say the least and could handicap the team moving forward. Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera would obviously highlight a weak free agent outfielder class, where the top names like Nick Markakis, Denard Span, and Alex Rios all have team options attached. That will put a premium price tag on both Melky and Colby heading into the offseason, especially if they are allowed to get to free agency first. That is something that our Ryan Mueller addressed last week.
The internal alternatives, while looking a bit better this year, aren’t all that enticing. Both Anthony Gose and Kevin Pillar have shown glimpses of improvement this season, but have done so under the microcosm of a strict platoon. That might suffice if they had to replace one of the departed, but having to count on both for full-time roles in 2015 will likely send shivers down the spine. The Blue Jays upper minors are devoid of possible replacements outside of Pillar and Gose, with Brad Glenn and Darin Mastroianni likely nothing more than depth pieces. You have to all the way to High-A Dunedin for any viable prospects, but both Dalton Pompey and Dwight Smith Jr. are likely at least two years away from the show.
That all said, the idea of extending at least one of the pair has to be appealing to the Blue Jays, as the cost to re-sign either is likely to be cheaper in the long-term to trading for a viable replacement or over-spending on a lackluster one of the free agent market. By extending at least one, you can continue to exploit a solid platoon situation with Pillar and Gose, at least until one of them shows he is ready to start.