Everyone talks about the rotation being a weak spot, and I'd have to agree that a mid- to top-tier addition would be perfect. Given the extreme price to pay in prospects for locked up guys, and the fact that most FA pitchers of value have signed elsewhere, I think the prudent course of action is to stay the course, audition some young arms, and add a value pitcher who can make 25 starts and eat some innings.. Hopefully by the latter parts of the year, some of the farm arms will force their way into a callup.
The rotation as I see it is this:
Cecil - I'm hoping his new fitness regime will let him come back and be an effective 15 game winner again - I could be wrong... Great fitness doesn't always equate to great pitching, but at least he's trying to regain velocity and effectiveness.
Henderson Alvarez - excellent debut last year, could be poised to have an impact - I was impressed. I hope he becomes a strong and surprising #3.
McGowan - might be better suited to the bullpen - long relief or spot starting, but physically we saw that he can still throw HARD.
Drabek - who knows where his head is at. Might have earned a year of AAA attitude adjustment. Has potential though.
I think Rich Harden poses some value as a "cheaper" option for free agent arms.. YES, his injury history is not good, but he still brings the heat and can still dominate hitters. Potentially, his $$$/inning - quality start could pose a good value if he can contribute as a #4 or #5 on a one year deal... Plus the marketing spinoff of a "canadian born pitcher" will add a few butts in the seats and eyes on TV...
I wanted the Jays to sign Buehrle for this role - more $$$ but super durable inning eater.
Harden is a Low risk signing that could pay off.