In his morning notes column, Ken Rosenthal advises fans of the Toronto Blue Jays to stay patient. He writes that the team still figures to emerge as a favorite to land a big-name starting pitcher in free agency, even if it’s not Masahiro Tanaka.
The only way Tanaka factors into this equation is the fact that he is holding up the market for everybody else. That’s not to say the other free agent starting pitchers should be upset with the Tanaka situation. He figures to establish a pretty nice market for the position to go along with the urgency of the teams that don’t sign him.
Rosenthal says that the Blue Jays will be favorites to land either Jimenez or Santana later this off-season:
The Blue Jays, quiet for much of the offseason, still figure to acquire one and possibly two starting pitchers once the logjam caused by Tanaka starts to resolve.
The Jays are a leading candidate to sign either Santana or Jimenez; they have two protected first-round picks, Nos. 9 and 11, and would sacrifice only a second-rounder and the accompanying pool money for one of those free-agent right-handers.”
That is consistent with what Richard Griffin wrote in yesterday’s Toronto Star, noting that Bronson Arroyo might even end up being a possibility. In addition to the free agents, they could also engage the Chicago Cubs in trade talks for Jeff Samardzija.
They might not be the first team to move, but the Blue Jays will likely make a splash in free agency before Spring Training rolls around.