Saturday, January 10, 2009

Jays Miss Another FA

It seems the Jays are content with just fielding a mediocre team and hiding behind the excuse of how much money they don't have to spend on landing free agents. The economic situation the Jays face, as do many MLB teams face, is in my eyes a huge excuse to fielding a winning team. I understand this isn't just about sports and more about business than anything else but it just starts to piss me off when I see other teams doing the little things to make a winning team.

As with most teams in the majors the Jays were not involved in talks with the big prize free agents like CC Sabathia and Mark Teieira, we just couldn't afford them and I totally understand. But why are they not trying to land some small fish that would cost little but could provide a huge upside. It seems like JP Ricciardi and the Blue Jays management are all about minimizing their losses in 2009. After the death of owner Ted Rogers, the Jays management were instructed to reduce/stick with status quo with respect to salaries, especially after the Jays lost AJ and his $14 million dollar per year contract.

Looking at what other teams are doing with their money and that $14 million could buy plenty of players that could potentially give the Jays a huge boost that might put them into the playoffs.

Below are the players that could have been added and their price tags.

Rocco Baldelli is an injury away from spending the lazy days of summer on the DL but with the doctors finally diagnosing his health problems and being placed on a proper path to staying healthy his deal with the Red Sox seems like a steal. His price tag, $500,000 guranteed and if he stays healthy the contract could jump to $2.25 million for a 1-year contract.
John Smoltz was signed for $5.5 million that could nearly double to $10 million if he reaches specific milestones/goals. Again, a 1-year contract.

Takashi Saito is another player that signed with the Red Sox. The deal is reportedly to be worth between $1.5-2.5 million in guranteed money with incentives that could reach $7 million plus. This seems to be a theme, Saito signed a 1-year contract.

Brad Penny signed for, you guessed it, 1-year worth $5 million.

Jason Giambi signed a 1-year contract with a club option for the 2nd year and a buyout of $1.25 million. The deal is worth $4 million plus the buyout, $1.25 million, as guarenteed money.

As you can clearly see, the market for potential baseball studs was filled with plenty of players that could be wearing a Blue Jays uniform in 2009. It disappoints me to see all these guys landing on teams where their GM's are doing yeomans work.

Just add up the salaries on all these guys and it comes to a grand total of $18.75 million. Of course, the Jays didn't have to spend all that money to grab all those players but it would have been worth it. The risk the Jays would be taking is minimal since they are all 1-year contracts and if they did perform extremely well they would pay for themselves in wins for the team. Plus, if the Jays were going nowhere in 2009 and these players were performing well they could easily make a trade with a team in contention.

Mr. Theo Epstein of the Red Sox seems to be doing the dirty work that makes a great and potentially a World Series team. Adding little pieces to fill the small cracks will most likely land his team in the playoffs and a chance at a World Series ring. I just wish JP would stop smiling and take off those stupid sunglasses and make an appearance at the free agent table. We all know job security is nice, especially in a recession, and listening to your boss will keep you employed but just stand up and explain the entire situation to them. The Jays need some extra cash to succeed but it doesn't have to be $500 million. Winning can easily come at a price tag of $18.75 million.

At the end of the day, it seems the smart GM's are out playing the complacent GM's. If the Jays plan on spending the next 10 years rebuilding and following the Rays' set path then please go a head. Just know that all the Jays fans in Toronto and around the world are suffering.

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