Toronto Blue Jays, Lincecum, Hamels: How Arbitration Can Create a New Strategy

Stephen BrownCorrespondent IIJanuary 18, 2012

PHOENIX, AZ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Starting pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the Major League Baseball game at Chase Field on September 25, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Diamondbacks defeated Giants 5-2.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Toronto Blue Jays fanbase has been clamouring for it to spend the money that Paul Beeston promised. There have been shouts for Fielder and many hoped they would get Darvish, myself included.

It also seems unlikely they will attract Prince, so where do they go from here?

With the arbitration hearings coming to a close and many players signing one-year deals, it can really shape the strategy of the Blue Jays.

Most Blue Jay fans would agree that bolstering the rotation is of the utmost importance rather than improving an already potent offense.

With Cole Hamels signing a one-year deal and it looks like Lincecum will do the same, the Blue Jays could be primed to try and acquire one of these top tier pitchers and spend their money that way.

Don’t sleep on Matt Cain either, or for that matter, Jacoby Ellsbury (how did he sign for only $8.05 million?).

There are also other studs that could be available as FA’s including Zack Greinke. Francisco Liriano and even David Price signed one-year deals to avoid arbitration.

The Blue Jays will have enough money to spend on a top tier pitcher come next season, and if they are smart they could try and acquire these pitchers before the season ends and sign them to a large extension.

AA, don’t force the increased payroll, be sensible as you have always been and make sure that you don’t force the issue and make a poor signing. My biggest fan, Ben Buckler will be elated.

The Jays should improve this year but unfortunately will not be in contention for a playoff spot. The Blue Jays know that the extra wild card spot in 2013 (if not 2012) will definitely increase their chances at a post-season run.

I am sure that AA has some aces up his sleeve and that he has a vision for this team. Yes we whiffed on Darvish but that doesn't mean that the money needs to be spent tomorrow.

If we can improve our young core this year then add the likes of a Lincecum, Cain, Hamels or Greinke next off-season we would be primed for our first post-season run since the early 90s.

The Blue Jays new-found strategy would negate any hatred toward the Blue Jays front office and they would be a legitimate contender for years to come.

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