Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Too Hot on the Hot Stove

On first glance, it looks like the Toronto Blue Jays may have over-spent this offseason by committing $102 million to two pretty good, potentially very good pitchers over the next five years.

A.J. Burnett's career record is one game under .500 (49-50), and he's maintained a not-so-incredible career ERA of 3.73 in the National League. Hitters don't mash him, only hitting .230 against, but is A.J. worth the longest contract for a starter since Chan Ho Park, at $11 million per? I think the Yankees could probably have given the Jays some cautious free-agent advice on a career .500 pitcher coming off a solid season (ahem, Pavano, cough).

And while I'd have loved B.J. Ryan in the Yank'ums bullpen this upcoming season, is the lefty reliever really worth more money than any fireman in the history of the game? Or do we collectively think this is all part of Jay's general manager J.P. Ricciardi's plan to accumulate all the double-initialled first-named ballplayers in the major leagues? I think I may have just foiled his ingenious plan. Is the third-base coach going to be U.L. Washington this season?

Looking closer, though, I think these two signings are fairly fantastic. It turns out, the Jays may secretly (or not so secretly if you follow baseball) have accrued the best starting rotation in the AL East, if everyone can stay healthy and live up to potential: Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, Gustavo Chacin, Josh Towers and Ted Lilly/Dave Bush.

Now add the talented lefty Ryan to the back of the bullpen, allowing him to close for that rotation and the underrated pen of Justin Speier, Jason Frasor, Miggy Batista, Scot Schoenweis, Pete Walker and Vinnie Chulk, and you've got a serious pitching staff.

Considering the offensive production in Toronto has never really been a problem for the Jays organization, this could be the year they move from third in the East to first or second.

Will that happen? We'll see shortly, but by adding only two pitchers, this team looks more like a contender than they have since Canadians last cared about baseball, back in the early 1990s.

So, er, we got some good freakin' pitchers, eh? And, hey, don'tcha think that Dave Coulier is a funny guy?


At 1:38 PM, Blogger ethan said...

cmon man, uncle joey could never hold a torch to uncle jesse.

as to the jays, i like what they've done. if they made a move to end the disgusting platoon of alex rios and reed johnson (maybe juan encarncion. or kevin mench if he could play right. or hand the job to former yanks prospect john ford-griffin) i think their lineup could improve a bit. it would help if corey koskie got back on track and they ended the hinske era too.

also, i like that the al east is getting better.

At 2:29 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

Yeah. Dave Coulier peaked with "Out of Control."

Cut. It. Out.


At 2:38 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Dave Coulier was just a generic Canadian reference, guys...and I actually don't think he is Canadian, but he plays hockey and he dated Alanis Morrissette, so I figured they must like his humor. Oh, sorry, his humour.

Alex Rios, biggest disappointment on my fantasy squad last year. I expected him to do what Grady Sizemore did. Silly me. Silly Alex. That's the last time I trust a guy named Alexis.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger MDS said...

Yeah, pretty amazing that that schmuk could be important enough to a woman to inspire a song like "You Oughta Know."

At 3:27 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

so I figured they must like his humor. Oh, sorry, his humour.

You mean, like bile or something?

Canadians are weird.

At 3:37 PM, Blogger ahren said...

"Canadians are weird."

>>no, you're weird. meet me by the shoppe near the town centre, where we'll put our honour on the line...

At 3:49 PM, Blogger PaulNoonan said...

I'm sorry. I don't speak French.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger jakezebra said...

after the honour defense, we can go to a Border's and purchase some books which will be priced nominally higher in Canadian dollars, but the book's market value in USA or Canada will be the same.

At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"hot tub, gonna make it hot-a, gonna make it wett-a"


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