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Which direction are the Blue Jays headed?
Tue, August 11, 2009

By KEN FIDLIN, SUN MEDIA

Alex Rios is gone, given away for nothing. Well, not exactly nothing. The Blue Jays no longer have that six-year $70-million millstone around their corporate neck.

But it's not a salary dump. No, sirree.

This remarkable turn of events began when Rios was claimed off the waiver wire by the White Sox on Friday. It's routine business for major-league teams to run many of their players through waivers right after the non-waiver trade deadline on Aug. 1. Most players, especially the ones with big salaries, breeze through the process without a claim.

More often than not, if a player is claimed, the waivers are rescinded by the club. Unless, of course, they think getting rid of the financial liability is more attractive than the prospect of future production.

The Jays elected to sign Rios to a seven-year, $69.835-million US contract after his fourth full season, pre-empting any thought of him becoming a free agent after this season. They paid him high-end money for future production that did not materialize.

In his last 1,071 at-bats, since signing the deal, Rios has hit just 29 home runs and driven in 141 runs. Meanwhile, the economics of the game have shifted and the price of outfield help has fallen.

With Rios gone, which direction are the Jays headed? Have your say in our forum.

Jays opt for flexibility



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17 Comments

Wow,here it is finally near the end of the season.It started with so much hope and optimism,but at some point all four wheels fell off,and the whole band wagon ended up in the ditch and on fire.Can the new management turn things around next year and still retain fan support,or will they go the way of the Expos?Only time will tell.
John Boy, 2009-10-04 11:57:42

Are you blinking blind? Moderator this is a totally asenine subject. The Rogers Jays are not worried about the "World Series". If they were, Ricciardi would be long gone...coaching minor soccer somewhere for all he knows about baseball.
F Kinwright, 2009-08-21 12:11:05

Like most other teams in MLB, the Jays are discovering that they can't compete with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox when it comes to shelling out cash. Or to put it another way, they can't afford to make MISTAKES when shelling out that cash.

It's a poor league when, out of the gate each year, a full 90% of your league don't stand the chance of a snowball in Hell.

Oh, every once in a while a Florida will come along and challenge after building up a good young roster - but it can't last because as soon as all these good young players reach free agency they simply can't afford to keep them all. And then, which ones do you try and keep. Better not make a mistake or you're stuck with a fat contract.

The Yankees pay more for than pitching staff than half the league pays on its entire roster. MLB is a Fool's Game.
Gary O., 2009-08-21 07:53:21

Am I the only one who believes that the Jays are in free fall? They have a very bad GM in JP, the squeeze is on to shed salaries, Wells has lost his mojo, Doc disappears at the end of 2010, the starting right fielder Joe Inglett is not even triple A calibre, the CEO is interim and hence indecisive, the fan base is eroding, the prospects don't exhibit sustainability, the Yanks and the BoSox are going to be division leaders long after the Jays fade into the sunset, and I really suspect the contract decisions are being made on the advice of JFJ who is in hiding somewhere one step ahead of the law who seek to serve him with papers charging fraud, accepting kickbacks and misrepresentation.

You have got to give Toronto hockey and baseball fans credit. They accept mediocrity by willingly paying more for their tickets every year to watch inferior teams.
Laffing at the Laffs, 2009-08-17 09:40:27

There's an article on SI.com that ranks the 11 worst contracts in the MLB right now. Guess who signed three of them? Both the Rios and Ryan contracts made the cut. And topping the list? Vernon Wells. $126 million for a guy who's less than clutch, is mediocre in almost every category, and has a no-trade clause. With a GM this incompetant at the helm, the Jays are in deep trouble. He's the Mike Milbury of MLB GMs: running his team into the ground and still managing, somehow, to keep his job. Apparently contracts that are "Hall-of-Fame" bad are now to be called "Riccardi's".
Will, 2009-08-13 13:21:00

The ideal scene would see Vernon Well rip his contract, telling us he is overpaid. Overbay could be placed on wavers, then with all this money we can decide what to do with it. Obviously a new 3rd & 1st baseman, resign Scutero. We would all pray that our pitchers could pitch and not be on the injury list. Think of the pitching staff we could have with or without the Doc. Yes I would love to have the doc back but I don't see it happening. We would even let JP leave, anyone can do what he has done for us.
Rick, 2009-08-13 11:35:08

Keep and resign Halliday..The younger pitchers can learn a lot from him..Put Wells on waivers.He's a ordinary player getting Allstar dollars. DUMP JP..The guy is a arrogant fool..The Jays will not be any better in 2010 if JP is still around..
Kerry, 2009-08-12 16:32:26

The Jays like the rest of Toronto's professional sports teams are headed for the basement. For some reason Toronto fans are suckers for mediocrity. Shell out the big bucks and keep coming back all you Jays, Raptors, Argonaut and Laff fans.
Mark, 2009-08-12 15:56:36

seems to me the jays either spend or hire a genius gm.they dont seem willing to do either.both wells and rios where bad signings guys who hit when theres nothing on the line are a dime a dozen. can jp i can do as good a job for less
pablo, 2009-08-11 20:14:10

Hey Mike

I think that's what he means by shoring up at catcher and shortstop, Scuttaro is a free agent in 2010 and so is Barajas. Now they can sign them for next year with the extra money
Paul, 2009-08-11 16:10:49

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