DUNEDIN, Florida – General manager Alex Anthopulos was expected to return on Tuesday from a business trip to the Dominican Republic. While he was away, it was the division-rival Baltimore Orioles conducting a little business of their own, scooping up Ubaldo Jimenez on Monday evening to a reported four-year, $50-million contract. Jimenezs signing leaves only one remaining marquee starting pitcher on the market. That would be Ervin Santana, with whom the Jays have been linked for what feels like an eternity. Santana is coming off a strong year for the Royals, in which he authored a 3.24 ERA and a 1.142 WHIP over 211 innings. Hes exceeded the 200-inning plateau in four of the last six seasons, which reflects positively on his durability but would give a club pause when considering how much, and how long, to invest in a 31-year-old. "Some things could still change but were going forward with what we have unless something happens," said manager John Gibbons. "We like this group. Thats not my department. You know, Alex is working hard. Hes been doing it all winter, half of last season, looking at some different options." Its anyones guess who will fill out the back end of the Jays rotation. Esmil Rogers (4-7, 4.89, 1.434 WHIP in 106 2/3 innings as a starter last season) and Todd Redmond (4-2, 4.41, 1.240 WHIP in 69 1/3 innings as a starter last season) appear to have the inside track, if only because both are out of options. Whoever doesnt win the starting job, if he isnt sent to the bullpen, could be lost on waivers if an attempt is made to send him to the minors. There appears to be a preference for starting Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek, both of whom had Tommy John elbow surgery during the 2012 season but who have returned to full health, at Triple-A Buffalo. Marcus Stroman, a top prospect, doesnt expect to crack the opening day roster but hopes to prove in spring training he can compete with big league talent. Lefthander Sean Nolin, shelled in his one-off debut against the Orioles last May, could be a factor. Chad Jenkins, who is effective more often than not when called upon, should be afforded consideration. Ricky Romero would have to show significant signs of improvement this spring to have a chance at cracking the roster. Hutchison and Drabek come from similar backgrounds in that theyve both had regular turns in the rotation, only to go down with injury. Now theyre trying to work their way back to Toronto – this time for good – knowing the odds, at least initially, are stacked against them. Drabek pays his predicament no mind. "You just kind of have to go into it thinking its your job," said Drabek. "Ive won a job before and, you know, thats kind of how I prepare for it. Thats how my Dad wanted me to. Just go in there, do every thing you can right and really not think about it." "You obviously have to earn it," said Hutchison. "You got there once so you obviously know youre capable of it and you believe in yourself and you know what you can do. Its really about just coming out here and competing and getting the job done." If Santana eludes them or the term and money prove to be too much of a gamble for Anthopoulos, the Jays will need one of their young pitchers to emerge a pleasant surprise. Its not the situation a team built to win now wants but after a quiet offseason, its the scenario which seems most favourable at the moment. Fjällräven Kånken No 2 Rea
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. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a one-year contract. BALTIMORE -- Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey will undergo elbow surgery Friday to repair a torn flexor tendon. Bailey was placed on the 60-day disabled list this week, ending his season. He has been on the DL since Aug. 16. Bailey was 9-5 with a 3.71 ERA over 23 starts. "We have tried to take a conservative approach, but its not healing so we have decided to repair that tendon," head athletic trainer Paul Lessard said. Asked about the recovery time, Lessard said, "He should be ready to go by spring training." The procedure will be performed by Dr. Timothy Kremcheck, the teams medical trainer and head orthopedic surgeon. "This may be the best way to go in the sense that now there is a timetable," manager Bryan Price said. "The other option is that we could have continued to do a strengthening routine and a recovery routine over the off-season," Price said. &qquot;If for some reason that didnt satisfy the issue with his elbow, then that would have necessitated having a surgery to begin the season and that would basically have eliminated him from our club for all of 2015.ddddddddddddquot; Bailey last pitched on Aug. 7 against Cleveland, allowing four hits over seven innings of a 4-0 victory. His forearm was sore near the elbow after that game, and it bothered him the next time he tried to throw. He went on the 15-day disabled list, but the Reds had hoped to have him back this season. This is Baileys first season under a six-year, $105 million contract that he agreed to in February. Bailey threw a no-hitter in Pittsburgh in 2012 and no-hit the Giants at Great American Ball Park last season. He took a no-hitter into the seventh inning in San Francisco on June 29 before Buster Posey singled with two outs to break it up. He finished with a three-hitter. ' ' '