Sure, we lost Roy Halladay, just as we knew we would. Sure, we’ve got management that is clueless and doesn’t really care about the team. Ignoring all of that, the Blue Jays may have received the best value out of the Halladay, Lee and etc blockbuster deal of the offseason, and his name is Kyle Drabek. Drabek has a fastball that clocks in around 95 and a curveball that’ll buckle even major league knees. His father was one of the top pitchers of the early 1990’s, so he’s got the pedigree as well. Look for Drabek to make an impact with the Blue Jays very soon, and hopefully for a long time into the future.
The Roy Halladay trade rumors are heating up, and it seems just about every team thinks they’ve got a potential stake in this thing. The Angels have offered Joe Saunders, Erick Aybar, and an outfielder, and it’s “rumored” that Halladay would waive the no-trade clause to play a season with the Angels. The Red Sox also traded the Rangers Mike Lowell to get catcher Max Ramirez, who could very well end up becoming trade bait along with Clay Bucholtz for Halladay. The Yankees are never one to be left out, and they have reportedly offered Jesus Montero and Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes in exchange for Halladay. That’s a lot for the Yankees to give up, especially with the fan base that’s formed around Joba. They would probably want to lock Halladay in to a long term contract if that deal happened, but they of course have the money to make Halladay happy with those terms.
Although we’d get a lot in return, the Yankee deal is the one that scares me the most. The Yankees starting rotation would include two of the best workhorses in the league with Halladay and Sabathia, and the rest of their rotation would be near-ace quality as well. If the Yankees are trying to upset the league the most by increasing payroll, this would be the way to do it. They’d essentially be trading their young (and cheap) stars and prospects in exchange for a guy that’ll cost them $25 million a year for the next 6 or 7 years. Even without a Halladay contract (yet), the Yankees payroll for 2016 is already twice as much as the Marlins payroll for 2009, and that’s only from the 5 players that have contracts extending that far. They still have another 20 valuable spots to fill on that 2016 roster!
Vernon Wells had 3 hits, including a double, and 3 RBIs to lead the Jays. The team got a great start from Scott Richmond, who is now 3-0 with an ERA under 3.00.
The Blue Jays got a spectacular starting performance from Ricky Romero, but Jesse Carlson had a rough 11th inning as the Twins beat the Jays, 3-2 on Tuesday night. Among the highlights for the Blue Jays were a 2 for 3 performance from catcher Rod Barajas, including a double, and a 2 for 4 night for Scott Rolen, who I’m constantly told is over the hill.
The Blue Jays are now 6-3 on the season and just a half game back of those pesky Baltimore Orioles. Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about those bottom-dwellers of the AL East, the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox. I’m sure they won’t be threatening to take the division crown this season.
Let’s be serious here. The Blue Jays are not expected to win the American League East division this year. They have three stacked teams in front of them in the Red Sox, Yankees, and Rays, and a young and talented team in the Baltimore Orioles. So how can the Blue Jays surprise everyone and come out on top this year? Well, it’s not likely, but it is possible. First off, we need a Cy Young-caliber year from Roy Halladay. He’s got to get 20 wins this season and throw a lot of innings. Scott Rolen must return to the all star form he had 5 or 6 years ago. I know, that’s not likely, but he could rediscover his old self. Vernon Wells needs to do the same. We need him to be a solid slugger. Lyle Overbay has to hit .300 this year. That’s 20 points over his career average, so we’re talking about a career year. We also need our starting rotation to emerge as star pitchers, including Jesse Litsch, David Purcey, and Ricky Romero. These are young guys with little major league experience, but the Jays need them to break through this season to have any chance of winning.
The Blue Jays current formula for building a baseball team is abysmal. They’ve got one veteran starter and a lot of young guys. Their lineup is mostly aging and washed-up has-beens or never-was’s. As a Jays fan, it hurts me to look at this team and what they’ll be facing this year. I’m not sure how they’re going to get their wins this year, but I’d have to say they are one of the longest odd teams in baseball right now. You can tell that even management believes this, because they’re spending so much effort bringing together a 1992-1993 Blue Jays reunion. When the season is about to begin and the team is spending its time celebrating championships from 16 years ago, you know something is very wrong.