Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jays fail to sign 3 of their top 4 draft picks

The Toronto Blue Jays have been preaching "financial flexibility" in the wake of the departure of Alex Rios and Scott Rolen. However, it sure doesn't seem that they've done anything with the cash saved, as they failed to sign three of their top four draft picks from the recent draft, including a pair of Canadians.

After inking Chad Jenkins, their first round selection, it was presumed the dominoes would fall, allowing Canadian pitchers James Paxton (compensation pick) and Jake Eliopoulos (second round) to ink on the dotted line. However, they, in addition to third round pick Jake Barrett did get their name on a contract before the Monday deadline. Also interesting to note, of the nine Canadian born players selected by Toronto in the draft, only one (Tony Fernandez's son, a 34th round pick) signed with the Jays.

The big question in all of this, why didn't Toronto bring these prospects into the fold? Ricciardi has been preaching the ability to sign players with salary slashed, but this goes against that line of thinking. For a team rebuilding in the toughest division in baseball, a surplus of young talent is essential. The Jays don't lose their draft selections because they'll receive compensatory picks next year, but they lose what could have been the services of three high end picks in their system this season.

The inability to sign three big drafts picks marks another black hole for an organization that hasn't made the playoffs since 1993.

6 comments:

eyebleaf said...

It ain't J.P.'s fault; it's Scott Boras's fault: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/globe-on-baseball/beeston-wishes-he-could-have-gotten-through-to-paxton/article1256172/

Michael Harrison said...

I realize that it's not fully Ricciardi's fault in this case (knowing that Scott Boras is a tough negotiator), but I hate when teams always pin the blame on Boras 100%. The Jays have steered away from Boras clients because he's tough, but when I hear other teams complain about him, it's can't be all him. There has to be give and take. Failing to sign 3 of the top 4 picks is a disaster, without a doubt.

eyebleaf said...

I would definitely not call it a disaster.

http://www.sportsandthecity.com/2009/08/new-method-to-madness.html

Mattt said...

If you're trying to hit a homerun, sometimes you strike out. However if you bunt, you'll at least move the runner over. So would everyone be happier if the Jays went after lower prospects that are easier to sign. Seems to me eveyone is always complaining that the Jays never go for it. Well now they did...

Michael Harrison said...

I agree that it's good to go for the best player over signability. For that, Ricciardi should be lauded. However, not signing 3 of the top 4 guys for a mediocre team can in no way signify a positive step...

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