Given that the AL East is tighter than me when it’s my round at the pub, I’m resigned to the probability only the Yankees are guaranteed to make the play-offs.* Even the news of A-Rod breaking his hand can’t cheer me up………..much.
As such, what can the Blue Jays do to increase their chances of a post-season spot? Undoubtedly pitching help is still vital, especially with Ricky Romero proving as unreliable as A.J. Burnett when he’s not in the first or last year of a contract.
If anything, the search has only intensified after J.A.’s Happ-less debut against the Oakland Athletics. (As he’s six foot six, I obviously won’t be repeating this to his face.)
Milwaukee’s Zach Greinke has been continually linked with the Jays. However, with this rumour surfacing frequently in the media, any deal appears unlikely, especially with Alex Anthopolous’s penchant for under-the-radar surprise moves.
Also, despite the Fan590 reporting the Jays interest in Josh Johnson, the Miami Marlins have always maintained they would only trade Johnson OR Anibal Sanchez, who has now joined the Detroit Tigers.
Instead, according to our insider, Toronto will look to the Chicago Cubs to bolster their ranks. But, despite Ryan Dempster’s move to the Atlanta Braves falling through, it’s Matt Garza who Anthopolous prefers.
Before you look at Garza’s career record of 57-61 and throw your laptop across the room, the key word to consider is ‘potential’. This is a guy who’s recorded a no-hitter and was named MVP of the ALCS when he helped Tampa Bay to the World Series in 2008.
Using Brandon Morrow as a prime example, Garza could flourish in the right environment. With a fastball that regularly hits the mid-nineties, this is a guy previously described as having the ‘best stuff’ when he was with the Rays, no mean feat when considering the talent at their disposal.
Although the approaching non-waiver trade deadline doesn’t mean the end of player movement altogether, Anthopolous will be eager to strike a deal sooner rather than later, before the Jay’s wild card aspirations disappear.
*The addition of Ichiro only makes this more certain. I’m convinced the Mariners agreed the move to apologise for trading the Yankees Michael Pineda’s dodgy right shoulder.