Blue Jays president Paul Beeston joined Jeff Blair on Sportsnet Radio FAN 590 in Toronto and said the Blue Jays can compete with the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays in the American League East in 2012. He acknowledged the frustration that some Blue Jays fans have expressed over the team's modest payroll, but said money won't solve everything. "It's not just a matter of spending, it's a matter of spending it wisely," he explained. Here are some more highlights from Blair's conversation with Beeston:
- Beeston said the Blue Jays ask certain questions of themselves before spending big on any free agent. "Is that going to put you over the top? Is that going to give you an opportunity to get to the point where you have that contending team, that competitive team? Does that one piece do it for you?" Darren Oliver's $4.5MM contract represents the Blue Jays' most substantial free agent expenditure to date under GM Alex Anthopoulos.
- The Blue Jays might regret it if they sign Prince Fielder to a ten-year deal, Beeston said. "We all love Prince Fielder," he said. "Prince Fielder is a terrific ballplayer and there's no question about that." Despite the praise for the 27-year-old free agent, it definitely doesn't sound as though he'll be signing in Toronto.
- Rogers communications, which owns the Blue Jays, has never denied a request to increase payroll or spend on player development, Beeston said.
- Beeston said the Blue Jays could have managed fan expectations better this offseason.