The Blue Jays can talk all they want about trading from a position of strength this off-season to bolster their seriously lacking starting rotation. Toronto is awash with solid infielders, but to think they can move a Brandon Drury, Devon Travis, or Aledmys Diaz for a decent starting pitcher might be wishful thinking.
Much like they did three years ago when they signed J.A. Happ, Toronto should try to pull-off a similar signing this winter. Who knows, the pitcher they sign might just end up being Happ. If it isn’t, it’s nice to know there’s still some reliable pitchers out there to be had for a price (and term) that Toronto can live with. Some of the better candidates being C.C. Sabathia and Gio Gonzalez. There’s also several intriguing options who are either coming off a rough year or that have a reputation for being injury prone. In which case the Blue Jays might want to look at someone like Drew Pomeranz, Hyun-Jin Ryu, or Clay Buchholz.
To be honest, the idea of a rotation led by Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez scares me a bit. And not just because of their ongoing finger issues. Here are two players that were once the closest of teammates, who oddly enough haven’t been seen sitting next to each other on the bench for two seasons now. The Blue Jays need a veteran starter to bring some stability to this rotation, while at the same time offset any possible Stroman/Sanchez drama that doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.
The Blue Jays may be in the midst of a rebuild, but that’s still no excuse to cheapen-out on something as important as the rotation. With Stroman, Sanchez, and Ryan Borucki, Toronto has three starters capable of playing in the big leagues for the entire season come 2019. To expect that Thomas Pannone and Sean Reid-Foley will both be ready to begin the year in the majors is asking far too much of these relatively unproven players. Especially in a division that should be every bit as stacked as it was this year…if not more so.