“The Blue Jays were the biggest surprise. David absolutely would have gone back there. That was the toughest part of this and I’m surprised we did not get an offer.”
That was David Price’s agent Bo McKinnis over the weekend; insisting that his client David Price would have totally re-signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, but the team failed to even table an offer.
If you’re a Toronto Blue Jays fan and you’re just hearing that one comment from Price’s agent, you’re probably livid right now. How could a team with owners that have seemingly limitless spending money let David Price just walk away to the Boston Red Sox?
Well, it’s a little more complicated than simply the Jays just not putting in an offer for David Price.
But He Liked It In Toronto!
First and foremost, I think the reason why a certain subset of the Blue Jays fan base is so angry right now is because David Price is a baseball player that wanted to play in Toronto.
The Blue Jays are a team that’s on practically every players’ no-trade list. For the most part, there’s an unfounded bias with playing in Toronto, but there is still a bias. In many ways, the Blue Jays have a tough sell to prospective trade targets and free agents.
Since it seems like very few marquee baseball players ever want to come here, there’s a tendency to latch onto guys like David Price and refuse to let them go. “Give him whatever he wants … he actually likes it here … make the man happy!”
That’s the voice within many of us, but that simply is no way to go about doing business. If that were the case, the Blue Jays would’ve re-signed Mark Buehrle to a contract extension because he finally enjoyed playing with the Jays.
I’ll completely admit, it’s been an uphill battle for the Blue Jays the past ten years or so when it came to augmenting the roster via free agents. Many times, we heard of reports of the Jays missing out on players because they didn’t want to come to Toronto, they didn’t want to play on turf, they didn’t want to deal with customs, etc.
That’s probably why the Blue Jays have been forced to fill the holes on their roster via trades and waiver claims, because they simply haven’t been able to sign their top priority free agents.
However, once players actually get to Toronto and play here for a while, those preconceived notions all but fade away. David Price’s endorsement of the organization and the city of Toronto probably did a lot of good for any potential deals in the future with other players
This year in particular likely broke down a lot of walls for the organization in luring free agents to play for the Blue Jays. Just look at J.A. Happ who suddenly decided he wanted to play in Toronto again. Or Marco Estrada who happily came back on a two-year deal.
But They Didn’t Even Make Price An Offer!
Every time I hear someone say “the Blue Jays never even made an offer on Price”, it’s kind of comical. While the Jays may not have tabled an official contract to David Price, at the very least, they checked in with his agent on Price’s asking price.
The Jays front office probably had a dollar amount and term they were comfortable with, and if they learned David Price’s agent wanted much more than that, then the Jays walked away … pretty simple.
As Mitch Hedberg said, “we don’t need to bring ink and paper into this”.
This wasn’t like the Yu Darvish bidding process where the team only had one chance to table their best offer to the player and hope they were the highest bidder.
When people report that the Blue Jays “didn’t make an offer to David Price”, it’s kind of misleading. That makes it sound like the organization didn’t do any due diligence whatsoever and merely said “thank you very much” at season’s end and never followed up.
But Alex Anthopoulos Had a Contract Ready for Price!
And the other rumours of Alex Anthopoulos’ intentions of preparing an offer to David Price are meant nothing more than to incite Blue Jays fans even further.
To me, the fact that Alex Anthopoulos may have tabled an offer to David Price is completely moot because Anthopoulos walked away. Any phantom offer for David Price from Alex Anthopoulos was dead the day AA stepped down.
There was absolutely no obligation by Anthopoulos’ successors to follow through with that plan (if there even ever was one). Unless AA crawls out of a cave six months later with a tattered beard and proclaims “I have the contract right here!” … there’s virtually no way to substantiate or refute this claim.
Anything that AA may have allegedly been working on is completely irrelevant now. And even if Anthopoulos did stick around and brought forth a contract for David Price, he’d still need to get approval from the president and ownership.
So here we are; David Price is no longer a Toronto Blue Jay, he is a member of the Boston Red Sox, and yet this saga continues to provoke fans long after David Price walked away.
There’s just no sense in dwelling over David Price anymore.
Image via Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports