Pressure is On Anthopoulos To Improve Blue Jays Roster
To say that Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is under pressure to improve the Toronto Blue Jays roster would be an understatement. With payroll already around 110 million, with roughly 13 players for 2014, and with raises due toJose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and R.A Dickey it would seem unlikely that the Jays will be big players when it comes to free agency. If improvements are made it will have to most likely be done thru the trade route.
The Blue Jays biggest issues this winter is pitching, second base and catcher. They simply cannot go into next season with J.P Arencibia as their starting catcher. The Jays were rumored to be interested in Chris Ianetta andHank Conger; both would be considered an upgrade.
The next position that needs an upgrade is the starting pitching, Only the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros had worse starting pitching in the American League than the Jays. It’s safe to say that come opening day that the rotation will include R.A Dickey, Mark Buehrle and Brandon Morrow in it. After that is where it gets interesting, It would be safe to say that the Jays should be looking for 2 starters, whether it be re-signing Josh Johnson or going the trade route, although with every team out there looking for pitching that may also not be an ideal situation, or going after a free agent pitcher.Todd Redmond andEsmil Rogers could also be options after finishing 2013 in the rotation and being considered surprises, although Rogers did experience a rough patch in July but rebounded nicely. It’s also a long shot to think that the Jays would have both Kyle Drabek orDrew Hutchison in the rotation as they both could use some more time in Triple A before being brought into the fold.
The last to upgrade the Jays should make may already have an answer with the way Ryan Goins played defensively after he was called up. There are concerns about his offence as his on-base percentage was .264 with the big team, however with second base having been a black hole for most of 2013 it is safe to say that they could live with Goins bat in the lineup with the kind of defence he showed down the stretch. Let’s face it there isn’t much out there at second base. Rumors that Anthopoulos is interested in Gordon Beckham have been floating around for a couple of weeks but let’s face it what the Jays have in Goins is a better option than what Beckham would probably be able to give you. The other option at second that could possibly make sense would be free agent Mark Ellis. He’s a veteran who has been playoff tested several times and would be a cheaper option at second than what is out there on the free agent market.
After the kind of season that the Blue Jays had in 2013 and having watched former manager John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox win the World Series the fan base in Toronto is getting restless and won’t put up with another year like this past year. The pressure is on to fix this team and I think it’s safe to say that Alex Anthopoulos knows it.