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Strasburg-Nats reunion hurts Jays’ chase of different upper-tier arm

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10.12.2019

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SAN DIEGO — If Hyun-Jin Ryu is truly the apple of the Toronto Blue Jays’ eye, the developments on the first day of the 2019 MLB winter meetings did not do them any favours in that chase.

You can thank Stephen Strasburg and his lucrative reunion with the Washington Nationals for that.

With Strasburg choosing to remain with the World Series champs, it leaves the obvious big market power players — the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels — chasing the lone ace left on the market, one soon to be very, very rich Gerrit Cole.

Two of those teams will be left out in the cold.

What happens then?

Well, they’ll have about $300 million in extra resources kicking around and obvious rotation holes to fill.

The next three names in the starting pitching pecking order are Madison Bumgarner, Ryu, and to a lesser extent Dallas Keuchel.

Two of those teams desperately zeroing in on Ryu won’t help Jays GM Ross Atkins when it comes to trying to get the 32-year-old lefty who finished second in National League Cy Young voting this past season to commit to Toronto.

It would be surprising to see Ryu, a Scott Boras client, sign before Cole, a Scott Boras client, and you’d think Keuchel, a Scott Boras client, would like to wait a little bit longer to see how teams that lose out on Cole react, as well.

The good news on that front is there’s growing optimism that Cole will choose his new home this week, which should kick the rest of market into motion.

The bad news is twofold.

The price for starting pitching, always an expensive proposition, seems to be even more exorbitant than usual, perhaps........

© TSN