Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Beeston hit the airwaves this afternoon to discuss the state of his club. Beeston emphasized his belief that the Blue Jays can compete next season with the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees for the American League East crown. Other topics of interest included the Prince Fielder situation, Rogers communications (the owners of the Blue Jays), and free agency.
This isn’t exactly a jaw-dropping list and all of these players have been added via trade. The Blue Jays have yet to make the big free agent splash some fans were expecting this offseason (Darren Oliver currently represents Toronto’s big signing of 2011-12). The Blue Jays have been tied to several players this winter, most notably free agent first baseman Prince Fielder.
Beeston gave listeners an idea of what goes through the Blue Jays collective head when it comes to spending big on a specific free agent. According to Beeston, Toronto asks itself if the player is going to put them over the top and if the player will give the Blue Jays a chance to become a contending team. Beeston made it sound like if that one player would do it for the Blue Jays, then and only then would they be willing to pull the trigger on a large, long-term deal.
Understanding that the questions he was receiving were regarding a certain available first baseman, Beeston noted that “we all love Prince Fielder”. While Beeston doesn’t question Fielder’s ability and that he’s a “terrific ballplayer”, the Blue Jays president believes his club might ultimately regret signing Prince to a long-term deal.
Beeston also touched on the topic of the Blue Jays owners, Rogers communications. When it comes to budget limits, Beeston said that Rogers has never denied a request to increase payroll or funding available for player development.
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You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.