A pair of names that had been linked to the Jays, Carlos Beltran and Gio Gonzalez, are now off the table as they were signed and traded respectively.
I think the Jays dodged a bullet in Beltran, who for one reason or another, was actually highly sought after this year. Despite questionable health and the fact that he’s 35, Beltran had suitors lining up to try and court him. He’s also on the heels of a 22 HR season with 84 RBI. The year before that: 7, 27. And in 2009? 10 and 48.
Interestingly enough, he will now play for in the city where his career has thus far been defined. His infamous called third strike in Game 7 of the NLCS on an Adam Wainwright curveball still haunts Mets fans.
Somehow, I think the Jays will manage without him.
Gonzalez on the other hand would have potentially been a great fit. The only problem is the Nationals gave up four top prospects to get him and he is coming from a very pitcher friendly environment. Still, a combined 3.93 over four seasons and being under team control until 2015 is pretty sweet. He’s also 25 and doesn’t look like he’s peaked yet.
We can speculate all we want on if the Jays should have made better efforts to acquire any of the above, but the fact it they’re gone and that’s two more improvement options no longer on the table. Though the off-season is still relatively young, the clock is ticking in terms of big name free agents still out.
As much as I am nervous about dishing out big money on the big guy, it’s looking more and more likely that Prince Fielder is Toronto’s last hope at making a big splash this winter.
Unless, of course, Alex Anthopolous has a crafty trade idea he’s cooking up.