The Jays were busy on the first day of Free Agency, although they didn’t do anything to their Major League Roster. Juan Perez re-signed a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training and outrighted him off the 40 man roster. The Jays also signed minor league deals with Andy LaRoche and Mike Nickeas they also include invites to Spring Training.
Meanwhile Alex Anthopoulos still has a lot of work to perform over the offseason and one has to wonder if his hands are tied when it comes to payroll. Like I posted last night there isn’t much out there in the Free Agent market for pitching but one would wonder with the other holes to fill in the roster whether the Free Agent market would be the way to go.
It is possible to fix the hole at catcher and second base thru Free Agency, it all depends on whether Rogers doesn’t handcuff Anthopoulos’ hand in payroll parameters. And there are concerns that could be the case. I’ve said before that it shouldn’t be Toronto is a big market and therefore Rogers should be treating the Jays like a big market club. After the way that 2013 went the fanbase isn’t going to be satisfied with the status quo and 20 years of not making the playoffs are making them that much more unimpressed and unhappy. On top of that watching the Red Sox win the World Series it has made this offseason probably the most critical in Anthopoulos’ tenure with the Jays. To put it nicely 2014 is playoffs or bust with the fanbase.
Over at Drunk Jays Fans, Andrew Stoeten goes on about the Free Agent Compensation that was changed when they redid the Collective Agreement in 2011. Stoeten goes on to say how the system seems to favour the Big Market teams with compensation and Qualifying Offers. I think he hits the nail on the head. The Jays could have offered Josh Johnson a Q.O but did the 14.1 million that was attached to that scare them away if he accepted. Small market teams like Pittsburgh had to walk away from A.J Burnett for the fear he would take the offer and really screw up their payroll parameters. And with the setup of how they figure the amount attached to the Qualifying Offer seemingly on the way up as every year goes by it seems like the smaller market teams will be squeezed even more.
Over at Blue Bird Banter they go into just how bad the deal with the Marlins deal was even before the start of the 2013 season. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with their assessment of the deal. I never had a problem with the Marlins deal, I’d do it all over again knowing that even if Josh Johnson had been much better than he was that he was probably only going to be a Jay for one season. Mark Buehrle is a 200 inning a year guy and Jose Reyes is still a elite player. The deal I never totally liked from the start was the R.A Dickey deal. The Jays could really use Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergard to help out the current roster.