Toronto Blue Jays: Will They Spend This Off Season?


Why do we argue/stress over the price of free agents? Think about the money that baseball brings in. That’s right. You can’t actually fathom what that kind of money ACTUALLY looks like. According to, the average MLB team is worth $900M! Imagine! With a worth like that there is no reason why teams don’t jump on free agents with reckless abandon.

Granted, worth and revenue and available funds are all a bit different than each other. And, a MLB club’s worth does not necessarily lend itself to spending power (see Tampa Bay Rays). But, with deals like ESPN’s $700M TV deal happening all over, there is money to be had.

That has long been the argument from fans when it comes to the Toronto Blue Jays. They’re screaming about ownership (Rogers Communication) and their lack of swimming in the free agent pool. Yet, the company is throwing money around in other areas: hockey, etc. So, why don’t they go “all in” for the Blue Jays? For arguments sake, I will acknowledge that spending does not always equal winning championships. I get it. Let’s also leave aside the payroll increase of the Miami deal. Or, should we? The club increased payroll significantly to accommodate this deal. It hasn’t worked, so now we call for more spending.

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  • The problem is that Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays have a different idea of spending. They are constantly harping about the value of players. In fact, they’ve almost painted themselves into a corner in that there may be NO player that actually fits with their ideal situation. Who is this mythical “right player” that AA keeps telling us will be the one to pry money or years out of the Blue Jays’ hands?

    Or, is the problem that the ideals are off? Why shouldn’t players get those top dollars? Why shouldn’t Pablo Sandoval fetch upwards of $20M? Why shouldn’t Clayton Kershaw be the highest paid pitcher in baseball? Why shouldn’t Miguel Cabrera make more money than some small countries? Because no human being is actually worth that much money, that’s why. To put a dollar amount on a person is just wrong. There are millions of people starving all over the world in those very same small countries. Yet, the money has to go somewhere.

    Why should owners get it all? The players are the ones grinding out months of bumps and bruises. The players are the ones bringing in the fat stacks. They are the workers. They deserve to be recognized for their contributions; the contributions that in turn enable nearly billion dollar TV deals. We can’t argue that Yasiel Puig doesn’t generate viewers and ticket sales. The players are the ones who are being scrutinized over every pitch, every swing, every throw as though they are objects being sold on a Best Buy website. I know, I know. They ARE commodities and are being bought and sold as such. It is the nature of the business. 

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    So too then is the cost to purchase these players. We hear that the market dictates the value of players. We need to accept that the market cost for player X is often out of our control. In this day and age the cost of free agents (and, to a certain extent, trades) has been broken down and quantified, to some degree thanks to sabermetrics and ‘money ball’ thinking. And, while there are top players for top dollars, a team can always find a replacement at a more reasonable dollar amount.

    But, if you want the best, you have to accept that you are going to pay the best. While Pablo Sandoval may not be the best third baseman in baseball, he is the best available option at this time. So, teams have to be prepared to make the best offer at this time. Or, they can settle for a lesser option and HOPE for the best. The Blue Jays have learned that this doesn’t work. We’ve been watching them settle for more comfortable (cheaper) options and spinning their tires.

    This off season, we are being told there is lots of excitement coming. At least Anthopoulos seems to be excited. There will be lots of roster turn over. There is money to work with. There are many contracts coming off the books two years from now and beyond. So, financial commitments made now won’t cripple the team later. It would appear that the time is right for the Blue Jays to strike. We’re hearing lots of rumors; about Pablo Sandoval, Russel Martin and even Howie Kendrick. There are likely to be many more. They need help. They need an infield option (2nd or 3rd), they need bullpen help, they need at least one outfielder, they could even use a #2 starter. They don’t get to choose whomever they want. They have to choose from what is available.

    The question is: will they do what it takes to get the best available? Should they? The answer to this question will show itself. It will go a long way to showing just which direction this club will head in. Have your say below.