Will the Blue Jays have to blow it all up?

Last night on Sportsnet590, with Jeff Sammut, Sportsnet’s own Shi Davidi was on the air and essentially said that the Jays are weary of signing someone like Ervin Santana because what if they get stuck with a bad contract if the team is unsuccessful this year and have to blow it all up. This kind of defeatist thinking, if true, completely befuddles me. How does this kind of attitude inspire belief and confidence to its players, its fans, and to the entire organization?

Now I have to admit, I’m not certain if this was just Davidi’s own perception of the Jays, or if he’s actually heard this line of thinking from within because I was unable to find the audio link to have a listen again. If it’s just Davidi speaking for himself, then fine, it’s absolutely okay to speculate about the future. But if it’s from actual talk he’s heard within the Blue Jays, then verbalizing such a comment a media guy such as Davidi about this possibility is just utter bewildering.

Yes, I readily admit, there is that potential of having to start from scratch should this team not make a strong push in 2014. Selling off assets this July or in next year’s hot stove makes sense given the value that would be associated with these players that have another year or two remaining on their contracts. Just look at the contracts below that are soon expiring (all info from Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

2015 2016 2017 2018
Buehrle last year $15M
Dickey $12M $12M option
Morrow $10M option
Happ $6.7M option
Romero $7.5M $13.1M option
Reyes $22M $22M $22M $22M option
Bautista $14M $14M option
Encarnacion $10M $10M option
Lind $7.5M option $8M option
Izturis $3M $3M option
Navarro last year $5M
Thole option
Santos $6M option $8M option $8.75M option
McGowan $4M option

Clearly there is a window for the next two years and maybe even for 2016 should most of the options be picked up, but beyond that, it’s a whole new ball game. Yet that is hardly a reason to not sign Santana. We all know what the cost is; 4 years at $50M is the going rate now, the same as Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza and just one million dollars more than Ricky Nolasco. Santana would just be another asset that the Jays could potentially trade if they fall down this distressing path.

Personally, I’d much rather see a signing and proclamation that says, “yes, we’re in this race and believe in ourselves. We’re going to do whatever it takes to bring a winner back to this city,” and so forth.

And given how Happ, Stroman and Redmond have pitched so far this spring, maybe there will still be such a signing (or trade) and proclamation … but that remains to be seen.

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