Doling out the Dough

From signing big ticket free agents or extending current players on the roster, there remains a real fear that AA is either unable or unwilling to spend money.

There seem to be many on the Interwebs who believe the Jays won’t be serious players for Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. There seem to be many others who want the team to lock up Colby Rasmus, lest he prove last year was not an outlier and quickly price himself out of the Jays’ budget. I don’t entirely get why this is the case.

I mean, sure, historically spending has been pretty lean. Maybe our long memories of Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green leaving, and the club’s inability to utilize the great years of Roy Halladay before he left in pursuit of a World Series have left us as unbelievers, but I think the last couple years should have changed that.

This argument that AA isn’t willing to offer big contracts for free agents or its own players – unless of course they take super team friendly deals like Bautista and Encarnacion – just doesn’t make sense. After all, there was that big offseason, you know, last year, where the team took on bloated contracts. The Jays acquired Mark Buehrle and Jose Reyes, along with their overpaid and heavily backloaded contracts, and then overpaid in prospects for RA Dickey. And remember, the former acquisitions came a year after free agency. Trading for both players only a year into their respective deals I think shows AA’s willingness to offer big deals. What I mean is, presumably the most productive years for both players will be the first years in their deals. Neither player is young, and decline is expected. In other words, both deals look worse as years go on. So the fact AA was, essentially, willing to “sign” Buehrle to a three year, $51-million deal and “sign” Jose Reyes to a five year, $92-million deal shows the Jays are willing to offer overpays.

Maybe the Jays get Tanaka, maybe they don’t. Maybe Rasmus goes out and plays well again, maybe he doesn’t. If he does, maybe the Jays extend him, maybe they don’t. But I’m not the least bit worried that there’s no hope from the get go. 

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