The Toronto Blue Jays have had an active offseason, but most of their moves have flown under the radar. The Jays have been unable to land any big-name free agents, even though they were tied to Prince Fielder, Yu Darvish and Carlos Beltran. Last night at their annual State of the Franchise event, Blue Jays front office and coaching staff spoke with fans regarding the offseason that’s been and their thoughts on the future.
Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays Radio Network provided several quotes via Twitter while recapping the evening’s events.
Blue Jays president Paul Beeston handled the Prince Fielder questions. Beeston told fans that the length of Fielder’s contract demands didn’t make him a fit for the Blue Jays. The Detroit Tigers ultimately inked Prince to a nine-year deal, while the Blue Jays were only willing to go as high as five years for Fielder.
The next free agent to come into question was Carlos Beltran. Toronto was tied to the veteran outfielder who landed with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos stated that he was working with two free agents this offseason who turned down more years and more money from Toronto to sign elsewhere. One of these figures to have been Beltran, as AA continued to say how “some guys don’t want to play on turf, no matter how much you pay them”. Anthopoulos added that “some guys don’t want to DH”.
While the offseason didn’t go exactly how they planned, Toronto is no less confident heading into 2012. Beeston told fans he expects the Blue Jays to make the playoffs two or three times over the next five seasons. This would be quite the accomplishment considering Toronto plays in the American League East and hasn’t made the postseason since they won the 1993 World Series.
For more on the Blue Jays, be sure to check out Jays Journal.