There are a lot of rumours about the Blue Jays floating around. Among the players that the many rumours have coming to Toronto are Dan Uggla, Manny Ramirez and Zack Greinke.
Some are quick to point out that Alex Anthopoulos is incredibly thorough and has probably contacted everybody about everything because that’s what he does. Maybe that’s all it is. Maybe AA is sticking to the plan and exercising due diligence in the bargain hunting, looking for another deal like the one that made Yunel Escobar a Jay.
Maybe, but maybe there’s more to it than that.
If you’re a Toronto sports fan, there’s not much to be happy about right now. The Leafs stink. The Raptors stink. TFC couldn’t put together a team that could make the playoffs despite hosting the upcoming MLS Cup. The Argos, well, they’re doing OK, but this ain’t Saskatchewan so they don’t count.
If you’re a bigshot at Rogers, you’re probably pretty good at making money. You’re probably looking at the Blue Jays and the relatively disappointing attendance figures at the SkyDome. And you’re probably looking at the failings of the city’s other sporting franchises and seeing a pretty good opportunity to generate interest in the team that you own and MLSE doesn’t.
If you’re AA and you’ve got some suits telling you to make moves to get people interested in the team and hopefully sell more tickets (and drive TV ratings higher and sell more jerseys, etc…) you’re probably looking at your situation and seeing that you’re in a pretty good place. The squad you’ve got is pretty good already and there are good pieces available. A few of those pieces (Uggla and Greinke specifically) are available via trade, so you’re not losing draft picks. And speaking of draft picks, you’ve got a tonne of those likely headed your way because of the Type A and B free agents you’re about to let walk. Basically, you can upgrade your team without really hindering The Plan.
(As for Manny, do you really think the Pale Hose are going to offer him arbitration?)
If you’re me, you’re just wanting to get a post up on the blog and you’re stringing together this crap hoping it makes sense.
But, it’s true that there’s a gaping hole for Toronto’s sporting affection right now. The overachieving 2010 Jays seemed to have made some inroads toward filling the gap. An offseason addition of Uggla and/or Greinke and/or Manny seems like just the kind of thing that would put baseball over the top in this town again.
Are they good moves to make? In the long-term, it all depends what it’s going to cost you. Too many prospects and maybe not. But in the short-term, if you really just want to generate even more interest in the big league club while letting the scouts restock the minors, yeah, it’s the right thing to do.