With the offseason upon us and the MLB Hot Stove just getting going, there hasn’t been a whole lot in the way of whispers about the Toronto Blue Jays. They’ve been busy, though bringing back R.A. Dickey, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. They’re waiting to see if Marco Estrada accepts his $15.8M qualifying offer. Oh, and they’re transitioning a new president. Let’s take a look at what is being talked about thus far.
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Now, before the offseason really gets going, it is important to remember the real definition of the word “rumor”. While there may be some truth to some random rumbling you hear, there is also bound to be zero validity to it. For example, anyone can say that a player makes sense for the Blue Jays and call it a rumor. So, let’s all remember that things aren’t happening until they are actually happening, as hard as that may be.
That said, we will keep you up to date with everything that happens, or is rumored to be happening, this winter on our Blue Jays 2015/16 Offseason Tracker. Bookmark this bad boy and check it out often. We’ll be sure to let you know the difference between rumors and reports, of course.
Toronto Blue Jays
To Do List: It will come as no surprise that there is much work to do with the ball club to prepare to replicate the success of 2015. And, Justin Anderson of Sports Glory lists 5 areas that need to be addressed. Firstly, he says, the club needs to find a full time GM. It is true. With question marks surrounding what direction Mark Shapiro will lead this club and an interim GM in Tony LaCava, this has to be a priority.
Anderson then lists bringing back David Price AND Marco Estrada as musts. While the club has extended a qualifying offer to Estrada, it is highly unlikely they will pony up for both of these hurlers. In fact, it is believed by all but the most stubborn pipe dreamers that Price is definitely not coming back. The next area of concern is the bullpen. After shoring up the bullpen, he then says that the club needs to add another starter.
This is a very interesting idea because so much relies on what will be done with Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna. If they are considered for starting jobs, will it be out of necessity because the Blue Jays struck out on the free agent market? In particular, the world is split on Sanchez as a starter. There is no middle ground with him. It will be interesting to see which way this goes.
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Greinke coming north?– This is the kind of stuff we should not get too hyped up about. With a title of “MLB Rumors: Zack Greinke to Toronto Blue Jays?” folks are bound to be in a rush to check it out. But, Larry Seely of Digital Journal really is just telling us that the Blue Jays need pitching and David Price is not coming back, so they should target Greinke who would be a big catch for Canada’s only team. There is no actual rumor that there is a deal in the works or anything like that. Greinke would be silly to sign anything this early in the offseason.
Now, Seely does mention a near trade back in 2010 that would have sent Greinke to the Blue Jays as an example of the club having interest in the 32 year old ace. However, with the potential dollar amount that Greinke is offering puts him out of the Blue Jays’ eyeline. Heck, if they were going to do that, why not just go after Price who is 2 years younger?
Gibby the …worst? – At TheStar.com, they published some rather negative fan letters about John Gibbons. A couple of them really feel strongly that he cost this team their chance at the World Series. They cite the team’s record in close games, the decision to pull Dickey in the ALDS and put in Price, and the choice to rest the regulars after clinching the AL East as reasons why Gibby is terrible. Obviously, the division over Gibby is a personal opinion, but it seems odd that a manager that led his team to a division title (the first one in 22 yrs) can still be in such a position.
Payroll Parameters- True Blue Jays fans will cringe at the sound of this phrase. We’ve been hearing it for so long that it has become the mantra of failure. Well, this offseason will feature plenty of discussion about money too. We heard that the Blue Jays may be looking to cut payroll for 2016 already. Now, it appears that there may be a different angle. Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun tells us that former GM, Alex Anthopoulos, set this team up with a huge surplus of cash. He says that $48M dollars (which could rise to $70M) has landed in the Blue Jays’ collective lap with the postseason run, merchandise, etc.
The surplus of money (if there is one) would certainly lead fans to believe that the club has money to spend. This will likely go against the belief that there isn’t any, or that the club doesn’t want to spend it. Obviously, in an offseason where free agent spending may be unavoidable, this is not good news. More than anything, this just creates more mud in the picture that is this franchise. Their financial situation heading into 2016 seems to less and less clear all the time.