Blue Jays not seriously pursuing Nick Markakis, Hanley Ramirez, anyone?


While there has been plenty of rumors floating around linking the Toronto Blue Jays to almost any and all available free agents, there has been nearly as much doubt about how those rumors will shake out in the long-term. And while the doubt is deeply rooted in the fan base itself, those roots are starting to spread to the mainstream media as well.

Earlier this week, Jon Morosi of Fox Sports spoke extensively about how Toronto’s history in free agency all but guarantees that they won’t be serious players in the free agent market again in the 2014-2015 offseason. Apparently the big money deals handed out to Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis, and Dioner Navarro doesn’t say much for the team’s desire to commit the types of contracts that the heavy hitters are going to be looking for.

To add insult to injury, Morosi kept trolling the Blue Jays again on Sunday afternoon, distancing the team from another big name in Hanley Ramirez, as well as one of the team’s fallback options to losing Melky Cabrera, Baltimore’s Nick Markakis.

Of course, there could be a few ways to read into the Markakis situation. The Orioles and Markakis are said to be close to working out a four-year deal to secure the return of Nick Markakis, so this could simply be the Blue Jays moving on to greener pastures. However, there aren’t a whole lot of available options out there outside of Melky Cabrera and Nelson Cruz in terms of left fielders. Expanding out to outfielders, there is of course Nori Aoki, Torii Hunter, and possibly Alex Rios, at least in terms of free agents. Oh, and before anyone says it, it isn’t likely for the Blue Jays to have involvement in Cuban Yasmany Tomas outside of any sort of dream state.

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Now, Ramirez of course would make a solid addition, especially if he were willing to slide over to third base which in turn would allow the Blue Jays to move Brett Lawrie to second base. However, as a top-five free agent, there is skepticism that the Blue Jays would truly have interest, especially given their five-year limitation on free agent deals.

What that all leads to though is a conception that status quo is good enough for the Blue Jays and their ownership, and the only additions being made this winter will be of the kind to fill out the roster and hold the fort until prospects are ready to step up.  At least, judging by the comments we see on nearly every speculation point, that seems to be the conception held by most of the fan base.

But what led to all of the blind naysaying and removed any breath of optimism. Offseasons are supposed to be exciting, filled with dreams of what may come to pass and the knowledge that every team has a clean slate from which start anew. Obviously the team has issues with contract requirements to deal with but there are ways for the team to be creative and get something done. That isn’t to say that if there is smoke there is guaranteed to be a fire, but they all aren’t there to mask the truth that Toronto isn’t going to do anything either.

Am I or any other optimistic fan out there wrong to hold out hope that the right things happen? Can you really enjoy being a fan without hope?