With the pool of free agent pitchers down to just about one (after the signing of Ubaldo Jimenez by the Baltimore Orioles), reports came out today from ESPN’s Jason Stark, that the Toronto Blue Jays unlikely to sign the remaining big name free agent pitcher, Ervin Santana. Or any of the other remaining free agent pitchers for that matter.
It was expected that the Toronto Blue Jays would be shopping in the market for a free agent pitcher during the offseason–after the departure of Josh Johnson, in addition to the pitching struggles the Blue Jays faced in 2013. However it seems the price wasn’t right for Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos, as he has been waiting for the market to settle and the prices to drop on free agent pitchers., unwilling to overpay to acquire said asset. Blue Jays were linked to many free agent pitchers this offseason, but the two most notably: Ervin Santana and the recently signed, Ubaldo Jimenez.
In the article, Stark writes:
Teams and agents Toronto has spoken with told ESPN.com that even as the shopping list for veteran starters has dwindled, the Blue Jays haven’t shown a willingness to do what the Baltimore Orioles did to sign Ubaldo Jimenez this week — add extra years or dollars to get a deal done.
Unless Santana eventually were to “fall in their lap,” in the words of one AL executive, the overwhelming feeling in the industry is that the Blue Jays are likely to pass on signing the right-hander and hope one of their young starters can fill their last remaining rotation hole.
Ervin Santana, who with spring training having already begun for all MLB teams, is still left without a team after having a bounce back 2013 season with the Kansas City Royals (9-10, 3.24 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 2.9 WAR).
Going forward, the Blue Jays will be looking to field a starting rotation that right now consists of: R.A. Dickey, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, J.A. Happ, and a 5th starter yet to be determined. That 5th starter position will be contested by an abundance of starting pitchers in spring training, including the returning Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek, Todd Redmond, Esmil Rogers, and Marcus Stroman.
Added Anthopolous in Stark’s article:
“We’d love to add a starter to maintain that depth,” Anthopoulos said. “But we’re comfortable with what we have. If the right guy were to come along at the right price, we’re definitely open-minded to the idea of adding one more starting pitcher.