The arms race that is the A.L heated up again this off-season, with talks of Johan Santana going to the Yankees, Mets(N.L) or Red Sox (it's looking more like the latter now). If the Red Sox do acquire him, you can say goodbye to the A.L East, because it will be theirs for the next 3 years. The Yankees are status quo so far, which is good enough for the Wild Card at least. With A-Rod back in pin stripes, and Posada and Rivera re-upped; the Yanks again will be a force in that division. You have to think unless something drastic happens that once again the Jays will be looking up at the two big dogs of the division, and on the outside looking in when the playoffs roll around.
So maybe Mr. Selig if you will, give us Jays fans some hope and just move them to another division, one that's a little easier maybe? Well unless they go the NL, they're pretty much toast anywhere they go.
In the AL central, the Tigers swooped up two of the prize off-season catches, D-train Willis and Miggy Cabrera for a handful of prospects. They now have a stacked lineup, along with a formidable rotation that should be enough to take down the Central. If not you have the defending Central champs Cleveland on deck, and then an improved White Sox team. And don't forget about the Twins, even though they are looking to dump their ace, they always seem to find a way to hang around in that division.
Well, maybe the AL west then? Nope, you can pencil in the Angels again for that one. They are a model of consistency in that division and there's no reason the think that will change this year.
So there you have it, a handful of 5-6 teams that could be battling for 4 playoff spots once October rolls around next year. And the Jays aren't even remotely close to that group. Even if Santana falls in the NL and doesn't end up in the AL East, I find it hard to imagine a scenario where the Jays can steal a playoff berth.
It's getting to be a bit unfair; every year the Jays stand pat and hope that one of the big boys falls from grace. Every year it doesn't happen, and it won't happen for a very, very long time. They need to be proactive instead of reactive, but that doesn't seem to be Ricciardi's M.O.
Maybe they can start by asking for a move to the National League.