If at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again. Aaliyah never sang truer words, and the Toronto Blue Jays figure to take the advice to heart.
Despite "winning" the offseason last year in the trades with the Miami Marlins and New York Mets, the Blue Jays never got off the ground in 2013. They finished last in the American League East with a 74-88 record but still have a lot of talent to bounce back next year.
The problem is after the trades last year, the Blue Jays had no immediate help in the system to come up if/when injuries occurred. That remains an issue heading into next year, which is why it makes sense for general manager Alex Anthopoulos to explore the market once again.
According to Shi Davidi of SportsNet Canada, the Blue Jays aren't going to make any moves quickly.
As Anthopoulos explains it, “at least from a trade standpoint, I think it’s going to be slower to develop and that may impact the free agent market as well. If I’m just going off the two or three days here, I think you’ll see much more activity at the winter meetings.”
Davidi does note the Blue Jays "are expected to make a push for Chicago Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija" in the coming weeks.
Considering Samardzija is two years away from free agency and has 394 strikeouts in 388.1 innings since 2012, the Cubs can ask for a hefty ransom that the Blue Jays might not be able or willing to match.
The team does have $109 million in financial commitments to players next season, not including arbitration-eligible players. A cost-controlled player, like Samardzija, is the kind of player the Jays could realistically go after.
You will notice I didn't mention anything about Jose Bautista. Davidi included a quote from Anthopoulos stating those rumors about a deal with Philadelphia for Domonic Brown and others was "totally false, fabricated, ridiculous."
That was my first thought upon hearing it, and I'm happy to hear the GM say that.