Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thinking Big

With the buzz around the Jays seemingly all about whether or not they are players for the big stick wielded by Manny Ramirez, I believe I'll be a non-conformist. Why not take advantage of a rare opportunity to sign a big time starting pitcher on a one-year deal?

No, I don't mean rehab cases like Pedro Martinez or Brad Penny (not that cheap fliers are a bad thing), rather, I propose a more imposing figure:

The Big Unit.

Yes, I know, he likes being in the southwest, he likes being in the NL, yadda yadda yadda.

Randy Johnson needs five more wins to reach 300 and he's definitely going into his last year. He's thought to be seeking something in the neighborhood of $10 million and the D'Backs don't have that to spare. Certainly the dodgers and Astros will sniff around, but I think the Jays ought to be proactive and get him up here, even if they have to be creative. Hell, I would not be adverse to signing him to something unseen so far based on Roger Clemens late-start deals with the Yankees - a Half year contract!

Think about it - sign Johnson to a contract that pays him $6 million through the All-Star Break. He gets about 17 or 18 starts to get past 300 but he has the option of going home to the sunny southwest after the first half. The contract would include a $4 million player option with a proviso that the Jays hold his rights the rest of the season if he decides to play (no fair jumping to the Yanks for the second half).

that would mean your first half rotation starts off as:

Doc
RJ
Listch
Purcey
Janssen/Richmond/Romero

When McGowan comes back he makes it:

Doc
RJ
McGowan
Listch
Purcey/Janssen/Richmond/Romero

And if/when Johnson retires, you should have a well prepped set of pitchers to choose from to replace him (whichever of Purcey/Janssen/Richmond/Romero aren't in the fifth slot already, plus Cecil and the other Romero and maybe Mills).

What's not to like?

A deal like that leave plenty of options financially to adjust the offense. Let's rock the boat people!!

7 comments:

eyebleaf said...

I'd rather let one of the kids play (Cecil or Romero) than the Big Unit. Think about the poor cameramen he's going to harass, man.

The Southpaw said...

Hiring a 40-something chasing down a career milestone for relatively big money worked great the last time JP tried it.

JW

Ian H. said...

Bring the power of the Stache to Toronto! I'm now on the Big Unit bandwagon. Onward!

wiffleballs said...

I kind of like the idea, especially if Purcey and/or Romero can be around to maybe learn something about control from a guy that also had control problems early in his career.

The Southpaw said...

JW: Hiring a 40-something chasing down a career milestone for relatively big money worked great the last time JP tried it.

Actually it did in the first year - the mistake there was making it a multi-year deal

~WR

johnny said...

That's revisionist history, Will. Thomas was atrocious in his first 2 months as a Blue Jay and didn't start hitting until well after the 11 game losing streak that pretty much buried the 2007 Jays in May. Say what you will about going on long winning streaks and so on, but that doesn't change the fact that Thomas was AWOL when he was needed most and the team never recovered. It wasn't a bad two weeks, it was a full third of the season.

As for Johnson, I'm really not against signing him for cheap, but there's no way he's worth over half the limited dollars available this season. His overall line for 2008 looks good, but over 1/3 of his starts came against some pretty lacklustre NL West offenses. I really wouldn't be expecting $10 million worth of good from him in the AL East.

Torgen said...

Are teams even allowed to give out sub-year contracts? I thought that was banned after the one day contract to the super short guy who drew a walk in his only career plate appearance. And aren't players allowed to retire in midseason if they want? They just forfeit the remainder of their salary for the year.