If not for a Blue Jays early offseason splurge, the Yankees might have a better shot at affording Charlie Morton.
The New York Yankees are going to be “kicking the tires” on plenty of free agents this offseason. After all, that’s what people say you’re doing when you don’t have the stones to actually spend your money.
Kidding, of course, but expect there to be a whole lot of waffling, and very few rumors you can actually trust.
That being said, the Yankees’ early-offseason wishlist appears to shoot for somewhere below the moon, but appropriately so. Their first two targets, Garrett Richards and Charlie Morton, are both starters who can help shore up the back end of their rotation, though Morton is far more likely to be a difference-maker.
Only issue? 8-to-10 teams appear to feel that way, too. And an early spending spree by the Toronto Blue Jays (those guys again!) might put an early end to New York’s dreams, unless they’re willing to extend their checkbook an extra page.
You see, before this offseason’s market had any chance to establish itself, the Blue Jays went and paid $8 million for Robbie Ray.
We know what you’re thinking. “Wow, isn’t this supposed to be a restricted market? How is the chronically off-target Robbie Ray worth $8 million, this year of all years?” Reader, he is not, as echoed by an anonymous NL executive this week.
“If Robbie Ray is worth $8 million coming off of the season he had, Morton should get considerably more,” the National League executive told MLB.com in the wake of this sequence of maneuvers. Juuuuuussssttt great.
The Morton chase was always going to be highly competitive, and the Yankees’ case was mostly built on the opportunity to compete for a title yet again, as well as the chance to stay on the East Coast and close to his New Jersey birthplace and Connecticut home.
But thanks to Toronto’s splurge, somebody’s probably going to have to extend themselves a step or two further for Morton than they might’ve been comfortable doing.
Won’t be the last time the Blue Jays screw the Bronx Bombers, we can assure you.