Blue Jays shouldn’t settle for less

May 26, 2014 by

Blue Jays shouldn’t settle for less

It’s far too early to make grand predictions, but after an impressive sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway, followed by a sweep of AL West leaders Oakland Athletics at home, it’s time to take notice of the Blue Jays. Now sitting in first place at 29-22, with nearly a third of the season played Toronto is playing up to expectations from a year ago. Meanwhile the remainder of the AL East is either underperforming (ie Red Sox) or beset by injuries (ie Rays). What this will all mean 3 months from now is anyone’s guess, but the division is clearly up for grabs and as of now the Jays have to be taken seriously as contenders.

The next logical question is what is this team willing to part with in order to strengthen their starting rotation? As well as Mark Buerhle has pitched thus far it’s not sustainable over the length of the season and it’s very difficult to gage how Drew Hutchison will hold up over the length of the year. Couple that with RA Dickey’s inconsistency and question marks surrounding the 4th and 5th starters and its clear the Jays need to add more stability in the starting rotation.

Word on the street is Chicago Cubs Jeff Samardzija is being touted as a possible candidate to fill the void. He’s pitched well this season, but if the rumours are true the asking price of pitching prospects Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez is far too high. Samardzija would be a nice addition, but one can’t be deceived by his recent performance alone. His lifetime era sits around 4.00 and he’s basically nothing more than a 500 pitcher, if that. Sure he’s played for the god awful Cubs and this year he has been particularly unlucky, but what has he really proven to warrant such a high return?

If the Blue Jays are going to part with their best pitching prospects they need to get someone more established and preferably someone who has pitched well in the American League (East). David Price comes to mind, but the likelihood of the Rays parting with him to a divisional rival is unlikely. If the Jays are going to legitimately contend and are willing to part with their elite prospects they must get a high-caliber player in return. Eventually the big bats that have propelled the Jays thus far will need the help of a deep starting rotation – one that can deliver in the dog days of summer and potentially compete in the playoffs. Who will be added is yet to be determined, but it’s a must if the Jays have a chance to compete for a playoff spot this year.

On a positive note this team is playing like the Toronto Raptors thus far, playing beyond expectations. It’s nice to see some winning in Toronto; however fleeting it might be. At this point in Blue Jays history anything that moderately resembles a team that competes at a high level has to be heralded. For that reason alone it’s easy for fans to get caught up supporting the trading of prospects for established players, but the Blue Jays brass cannot get wrapped up with the hysteria of adding a middling pitcher from an awful team for a king’s ransom. Add Samardzija for a fair price if you must, but the organization should look to make a more significant move instead. The AL East division looks vulnerable this year and if the Jays are willing to part with their best youth why not look for the best short-term replacement as well?

Keep in mind this season is still in its infancy. Making a significant trade isn’t likely for another month or two. After more teams are removed from playoff contention, additional trading partners should arise. Who knows maybe Stroman or Sanchez will be regulars in the Jays starting five and making an impact by then and this question will be moot. Ideally for Blue Jays fans that’s the solution here, but for now we shouldn’t be talking about theoretical situations just yet.

The Toronto Blue Jays are in first place today and are among the hottest teams in baseball. It’s good to be a fan today, enjoy it for what it is. There will be plenty of time down the road to discuss who should be added to help this team break a twenty year absence from the playoffs. For fans of the team, just hope the Blue Jays organization doesn’t settle for a lesser player when the time is right to make a move.

Leave a Reply