Blue Jays need Santana or Jimenez

Toronto's rotation needs help if the Jays seriously hope to make playoffs

Updated: January 25, 2014, 9:16 AM ET
By Eno Sarris | ESPN Insider

Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana Getty ImagesJimenez and Santana have received only moderate interest due to draft-pick compensation.
The Toronto Blue Jays have to sign a pitcher. It's not a question of desire. They're short a starting pitcher, maybe two.

Roughly 40 percent of all pitchers who pitched last year will hit the DL at some point in 2014. That means every rotation in baseball -- in your average year -- needs at least six pitchers. Seven pitchers is a better plan, in case one of those DL stints is longer than most. If you're the Blue Jays and coming off two straight years of losing more time to pitcher injuries than most of baseball -- and still hope to contend -- you might want to go eight deep.

Currently, the spots for Nos. 3-8 in the Blue Jays' rotation are manned by Brandon Morrow, J.A. Happ, Esmil Rogers, Todd Redmond, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison, in some order. That group averaged just over 60 innings in the big leagues last season. For a roster that looks to be built for the now, it's a grim group of pitchers.

Of course, two potentially elite starting pitchers are available on the free-agent market: Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez, and the Blue Jays must make sure at least one of them is toeing the rubber in the Rogers Centre by summer.