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:
When McGowan comes back he makes it:
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!!