So, I guess there really was something to the early reports that the Jays might be in on Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman, he of the 100 MPH fastball and inevitable Randy Johnson comparisons. This being a Blue Jays blog and now being the dead of winter, I'm going to beat the carcass of the horse too - should the Jays get in on the $25M (estimate - whaddya want?) gamble, or shouldn't they?
Perhaps understandably, early reactions across the blogosphere and throughout the comment sections are mixed. $25 million is a lot of cash for a franchise on the rebuild. We've seen enough albatross contracts in these parts to be wary of handing out that kind of money to a less than sure thing. Aren't there any veteran arms on the market the Jays can bring in for that kind of a guarantee?
Yes, but, uh....for what purpose? An innings-eater (somewhere, Jeff Blair is frowning in my general direction) would be of benefit to the club, reducing the workload required from the Jays young stable of starters (though really....aren't there enough "young starters" in the system on whom to divvy up those innings?).....but a $25M innings-eater would be a waste of resources for this team. For those kinds of dollars, at this point in time, for this team in particular....it's upside or nothing.
Lost in this discussion is the aspect that really intrigues me, though. The Jays - and Rogers - just might be in this thing for real. If throwing in $6M to facilitate the Halladay trade - for the prospects the front office desired - wasn't proof positive of ownership's commitment to seeing AA's vision through, then pursuing Chapman only adds to the evidence.
The Jays may not - or more likely, probably will not - win the bidding war for The Player, but the fact they're in the game tells me that the organizational workings are different now than they were a year ago. And that's something, anyway.
Or it could just be my new 2010 optimistic outlook wreaking havoc on my better judgement, and I'm merely setting up for further disappointment. But....nah.